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1 review, 3 user ratings

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by Katharine Leis

"The funniest, most original movie of the year!"
5 stars

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud more than a few times during a film, even the ones that I thought were really funny. I don’t know how many times I did during Crust, I lost count after the first dozen.

While looking through the program at the 2004 Melbourne Independent Filmmakers’ Festival, one feature film description caught my eye. The one paragraph synopsis described a British comedy about three ordinary people and a seven foot long boxing shrimp. I didn’t know what the film would be like, or if I’d end up leaving after fifteen minutes, but I was really curious to see what would be in store.
The film starts with Bill (Kevin McNally), a washed up boxer-turned-pub owner. He’s very bored and unsatisfied with the way his life has unfolded so far, and at 43, it seems he may not fare any better from here on out. At one time, he was a local boxing star but those days were long gone. His friend Steve (Perry Fitzpatrick) is a much younger local boxing star who seems to lack the motivation to dream big, and is content to hang out with his girlfriend, Shaz (Louise Mardenborough).
Bill is desperate to try to live out another dream. When his friend Hamid (Madhav Sharma) shows him a video of a 6 inch boxing shrimp and tells him he can buy a seven foot long one for 8 000 pounds to pit against human boxers similar to kangaroo boxing of yesteryear...he actually listens. Hamid tells him that the shrimp is a monster, ugly so that no one would feel sorry for it, but so odd that they’d come in droves just to get a glimpse. Bill then goes from listening to believing. Soon enough, he’s sold his pub and invested his life savings into a giant shrimp.
The shrimp is an accomplishment unto itself. I don’t know how they did it, but it REALLY looks like a 7 foot long shrimp. Honestly, I was expecting to see either bad CGI or a goofy looking costume, but from the first shot of this thing to the last, it’s 100% believable. So much so that it’s scary.
I don’t want to give the plot away, but I cannot recommend this film enough. The acting was flawless and the stunts and effects were professional. Each character was introduced as an average person at first, but time was taken to get to know and like each one, faults and all. The characters seemed like real people, not “main character,” “character who advances the plot,” or “love interest.” The dialogue and the way that they interacted were so natural that the talent in the writing risks going unnoticed.
As the film progressed I started to get a little worried. It was building and building and I wondered how on earth they’d end it. I guess I was worried that there would be a big let down. The opposite held true, and though completely wild and nearly impossible to describe, the ending was fantastic and well fitting.
The story is about people who are tired of being average, going for broke in an honest effort to be more than what the world seems to have told them they will be. Following a dream that everyone else tells them is stupid and overcoming obstacles any way they can. It’s a really refreshing, passionate, root for the underdog, feel-good movie. The big difference between it and any other feel-good underdog rooting movie is that there’s not a cliché in sight. This film was pure joy from beginning to end.

This film is not yet available on DVD, but when it is, I will definitely buy a copy. I do not own many movies, as there are very few that I would watch more than once. It’s a small shelf under my DVD player, but there is plenty of room for Crust.

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originally posted: 09/13/04 15:54:49
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User Comments

4/30/06 Louise Dean I worked on this film back in 2002. `i live in the UK but cant find it anywhere. Any ideas? 5 stars
6/13/05 Ray Reyes (USN) So silly its almost great. Good campy fun. 4 stars
10/12/04 Lauren McCoy Awesome, perry fitzpatrick was fantastic 5 stars
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