A Couple Of Charlies

2.166665
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Puppet Movie
Christchurch > 06
MistaTeas
3.01

Charlie Flowers and Charlie Powers share a testy relationship fueled by the inflated opinions of their puppet office assistants.

This was kind of bizarre for a whole lot of reasons but it also had nice touches of humour. It wasn't overly ambitious with most scenes either in the small office or in the corridor outside of them but the economic nature of the locations obviously suited the team.

Two Charlies, Charlie Flowers and another (I didn't catch the surname), work in offices across the hall from each other. They are very different personalities, and clearly don't get on well. They also each have a work colleague who shares their office, and each of these characters happens to be a puppet (of the sock + balloon + random crap variety). Office antics ensue, coffee stains transpire, and it all leads to a bit of a kerfuffle.

This was a curious film, at times one thing, then another, straining at the seams as internal conflict raged about whether it was a fluffy almost childlike romp (as exemplified by Flowers' silly voice and OTT manner) or a more cynical satire (as represented by the sardonic puppet characters). I think a lack of specificity probably harmed things also - what exactly *was* their job - public servants working at the Ministry of Arts & Crafts? Even the four characters' relationships to each other seemed to varying degrees to be interchangeable (with the exception of the two Charlies, that is). That said, the location itself worked nicely as a kitschy and very colourful backdrop. The generic office space is one of the most ubiquitous 48HOURS locations, so it was refreshing to see a not-entirely-white variation of this.

The point where the piece really came alive, and I leaned forward in my seat to see what would happen next, was when upon saying "kerfuffle" one too many times one of the puppet characters literally exploded. It was a moment of absurdity that really lifted the story into the joyful realms of whatthefuckery. After that point, I was hanging out for what seemed like the inevitable follow-up, but was left disappointed. In fact, whether inadvertent or not, there almost seemed to be the perfect setup for it built into the script, with one of the Charlies saying kerfuffle a few times, then exiting the other's office being instructed not to say the word again. Alas, no comedy blood-and-guts explosion, oh well.

Puppet is one of those tricksy non-genres, that's really just telling you to incorporate puppets in some way into any type of story you like. Which sounds great, until you realise that no limitations can often make for a harder challenge. The team clearly had a great time making the film, and if the result is a bit of a mess then, well, it's a delightful mess. Going forward, I would encourage you to think about style and tone and really committing to that, so that all the characters feel like they belong in the same story. And if you come up with something that delights you like a puppet character exploding, maybe consider making it more central to the story. After all, if you like it, chances are the audience will too.

Beautifully absurd. Just what i wanted to see from a puppet film.

Made me laugh several times.