Image: Windmill Theatre
Based on the stage production of the same name, Girl Asleep brings the feeling of live theatre to the cinema screen. With its teen drama, unusual cinematography, and 70’s everything, this film is really rather difficult to describe accurately.
Greta (Bethany Whitmore) has moved to a new town, started a new school, and had to meet new people; none of which is going overly well for the fourteen-year-old. In an effort to help, Greta’s mum Janet (Amber McMahon) decides to throw a party for her daughter’s fifteenth birthday. And invite all of Greta’s class mates.
After run ins with mean girls, best friends, and boys, Greta finds herself in her room, hiding away from her own party. Solace is found in an old music box and soon, the emotionally strained teen find herself falling asleep to the familiar tune. Only to wake up in a very unfamiliar reality.
In what can only be described as an incredibly quirky and surreal dreamscape, Greta has to fight her demons and learn her lessons.
From clothing to Tupperware, the 70s era shines through strongly. Mum on the stationary bike, dad in the budgie smugglers, tassel vests, and flare jeans make for a visual display sure to draw you in. Choreographed dance scenes with garish flashing lights swirling confusion put you into Greta’s shoes; helping to show just how uncomfortable she is in the situations.
The camera work throughout this film help to both keep a feel of a stage production, while still using the new found freedom for this version of the story. While sets remain reasonably limited and basic, and characters generally use the space given rather than have the camera follow them, it is by no means a detrimental to the overall effect.
Girl Asleep is the first script-turned-screenplay for writer Matthew Whittet, who also steps onto the other side of this tale in his role as Conrad, Greta’s dad-joke loving father.
Nothing I can say can truly describe this movie. With is limited release, anyone who has the chance to see this in a cinema should jump at the chance. If you take interest in live theatre or film, acting or set design and camera work, this is something I believe you will enjoy.