"Something that's good can still have a little bit of bad in it, and something that's bad still has a little bit of good." (Jimmy's brother)
How does it happen that any Australian film that I watched was connected with criminals? I have seen a few though, but it seems to me that it's the most popular genre of Oz, which I don't mind as it's one of my favorite ones. 'Two Hands' was written and directed by Gregor Jordan who apparently knows how to combine comedy and drama in the discourse of criminal world.
Jimmy (Heath Ledger) is happy to start working for a local gangster Pando (Bryan Brown), but it turns bad for him and the guy finds himself indebted to the mob boss. To escape from murderous revenge, Jimmy tries to get the certain sum of money, still having to take cover with the help of Deidre (Susie Porter). At the same time, he can't abnegate for himself starting a romance with lovely Alex (Rose Byrne).
Gregor Jordan created a great story and screenplay. At this one second, the film is amusing, but the other instant, it turns into a dark world. It is not a comedy in a conventional sense; it won't make you laugh out loud, but it does entertain with the use of dark — but not super-dark — humor. The main advantage of the movie is unpredictability, which it uses to the best. The plot builds on the idea of different people, mainly, strangers, intercrossing their paths for a moment and influencing other strangers' lives. I loved how it was done throughout the flick, so thumbs up, Mr. Jordan.
However, there was one thing that bugged me a little bit: Heath Ledger's character seems to lack in depth. For the protagonist, they should have given a special trait, as Jimmy was a way too ordinary guy. Nonetheless, as an actor, Ledger did his best, still not as striking as in his subsequent roles, but already showing his dramatic strengths. Even though his character was somewhat shallow, I don't see it as his mistake. Then, it was great seeing Rose Byrne in this picture; I saw her in 'Troy' (2004) for the first time and really liked her and was wondering why we see so little of her work in big movies. She appeared here and there, acquiring pretty decent supporting parts, until we saw her in another supporting role this year, but only in a huge film, 'X-Men: First Class'. Have I said before that I like Aussie actors? So Rose Byrne is very good, including 'Two Hands'. Overall, the cast has no weak links, and they all fit into that crime-beaten world.
'Two Hands' is a surprisingly neat crime story that benefits from smart script, direction, and actors. It left me absolutely satisfied and it is easy to shut eyes to its minor drawbacks. I will definitely re-visit it someday, and I recommend it.
Rating: 4 stars (see what that means)
Have you seen this film? How did you like it? Any pluses/minuses I didn't notice?