The Big White

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Enjoyably quirky thriller with bizarre, off-the-wall performances from its entire cast and some striking location work.

What’s it all about?
Robin Williams stars as Paul Barnell, an Alaskan travel agent who’s nearing bankruptcy. When he stumbles upon an abandoned corpse in a dumpster he decides to pass it off as the dead body of his missing brother Raymond (Woody Harrelson). He aims to collect the insurance in order to help his wife Margaret, who’s suffering from a psychosomatic form of Tourette’s Syndrome.

However, Paul hasn’t reckoned on the attentions of ambitious insurance claims' investigator, Ted (Giovanni Ribisi). And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the two killers (Tim Blake Nelson and W.Earl Brown) show up and threaten to harm Margaret if they don’t get their corpse back.

The Good
The Big White is a worthy addition to the small but respectable genre of Snow Movies, alongside the likes of Affliction, Fargo and A Simple Plan. British director Mark Mylod makes the most of his snow laden landscapes and delivers some beautiful images, such as a single car driving across a snowy wasteland.

The performances are enjoyably quirky although it’s weird to see Williams playing such a normal character (he keeps his usual schtick in check) when the other characters are so bizarre.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that the plot doesn’t really contain any twists or surprises – Mylod could probably have done with watching Fargo a couple more times. The quirky characters make up for a lot but it’s a shame the script couldn’t have been a bit more inventive.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Big White is worth seeing for its impressive location work and enjoyable performances but it’s ultimately let down by its uninspired plot.

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Content updated: 22/11/2019 05:42

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