Monday, August 25, 2014

Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 1984) Review

On Saturday, Peter Capaldi blessed our screens as he made his debut on Doctor Who as the latest incarnation. The general consensus seems to be: Peter Capaldi good, Steven Moffat bad. However, let's look back at one of Capaldi's very first acting roles set in his native Scotland. Let's take a look at Local Hero

Oil tycoon Happer (Burt Lancaster) decides to build his next oil refinery over a small Scottish seaside town and sends Mac Macintosh (Peter Riegert) as a scout to try and confirm this with the locals. He is assisted by native Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) as he settles into the quiet town and gets social with the townsfolk. The town comes together to discuss their opinion of Mac while Mac slowly starts to conform as a result to the exposure to the town. Happer waits for the verdict while Mac tries his best to win over the town.

Local Hero is pleasant. Even if you are unfamiliar with small, sea side towns like Mac is, you can relate to his exposure to the serene location and tight community while those who become nostalgic of the realistic setting will side with the town. You are positioned to want to see the town spared anyway so naturally it has to do a good job of presenting the town in a good light as well as show Mac's progression into their society. This is done thanks to the subtle writing and acting as well as displaying progression with Mac's conversion into the local lifestyle by use of Peter Riegert changing his stance, pace and outfit as the film goes on. It's clever stuff and I imagine this will be a film that will have you catching more if you rewatch it at a later date.

I started this review about Peter Capaldi who does quite a good job considering that this is one of his earliest acting roles and works well opposite Peter Riegert. Overall the acting was enjoyable. Fulton Mackey brings a warm and jolly performance to the role of beach dweller Ben Knox and Denis Lawson joins Riegert and Capaldi for a likable trio residing in the town. The characters are likable and all lend themselves to hilarious moments. The key of Local Hero, as I've mentioned, is the subtly. All the best comedic moments are cemented by throw away lines and facial reactions with one case being made hilarious because there is no reaction. It's subtle yet specific and therefore makes for a unique blend of comedy.

Local Hero is definitely a feel good and calming film with a great sense of humour. The actors bring lighthearted and jolly performances in their wake and the writing makes for some classic lines and moments. Local Hero sets out to do it's job of entertaining and being insightful. I recommend it to those who wish to get more acquainted with Peter Capaldi now that we have him as The Doctor.

Calm, funny, pleasant and a feel good film that started Peter Capaldi's career path.

No comments:

Post a Comment