Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 


Mimi (Otto) is about to hit the road for Perth in a bid to repair her relationship with her mother. She never met her father. Her boyfriend, Hanif (Andrews) is half hearted about joining her, until it offers an escape from an enraged, dangerous Jerry (Mendelsohn), who has found out that Hanif and his mate - Jerry’s brother - Dean (Taylor) stole his large stash of crack. Ignorant of this, a pregnant Mimi and the two boys make their way West, but Jerry’s onto them. On route, Mimi meets Morris (Weaving) a muso in a rock band who later turns out to be less of a stranger than she thought, and Jerry finally catches up with them in a bloody climax. The journey proves illuminating for them all.

"It is always a good sign when the synopsis of a film’s storyline doesn’t really tell you all about the film. This is the case with Efthymiou’s debut as a director (although he had a bit of practice at feature films producing Emma Kate Croghan’s debut, Love and Other Catastrophes). The classic road movie structure is given plenty of emotional and psychological dressing and a unique Australian atmosphere as Efthymiou turns to character for added value. These people are all sufficiently complex and self-contradictory to engage us, as his entire cast give him the terrific performances the film needs. It could benefit from a few minutes cutting here and there, but the pace overall is dynamic, and the comedic tone is well maintained within the essentially tragic story. The story device of a drug theft is the only factor that seems to have been imported - and it’s a sad indication of life about Australia: we’re no longer the innocent country. We can no longer dismiss this as an Americanism."
Andrew L. Urban

"In his first outing as writer/director, Efthymiou delivers a fresh script with unique characters whose very differences make their interaction appealing. The off-the-wall combination of a naïve young girl, her unwilling-to-commit Indian boyfriend, the druggie who loves Mills and Boon novels, the New Age smack dealer who loves himself, his dumb-blonde girlfriend and the drunken band singer is so bizarre that it fascinates. The way Efthymiou develops his characters is most satisfying, and brings out excellent performances from all the leads. Just as the characters swap seats in the car, so too do they swap each other’s character traits, and even partners. Hugo Weaving is terrific as the drunken singer, in perhaps his most memorable performance since Proof. His vocals are absolutely outstanding. Watch out for Kimberley Davies, who is terrific surprise as the "Puppy Dog" dumb-blonde girlfriend. Pic could be cut a little in the first half, but stands out as a memorable debut for a new Australian film-maker."
Louise Keller

"Efthmyiou has crafted a film that has been beautifully developed. He keeps the film moving without any unnecessary pausing, and the music, ranging from Tom Jones to Nick Cave and Blondie, gives the movie an evocative edge. His characters are an intricate lot, brilliantly brought to life by an extraordinary cast. Like Mimi in this film, Otto has grown so profoundly as an actor, and here she gives a richly defined, meticulous performance, that is both delicately funny and deeply touching. Weaving, absent too long from our screens it seems, does a stunning job as a jaded singer. He sings in this film, and audiences will be impressed at his vocal abilities. Taylor is wryly amusing as Dean, and Mendelsohn knows how to play his kind of character. Breathtaking to look at, True Love and Chaos has energy, a wonderfully funky style and youthful ebullience, packaged into an engaging, beautifully written, expertly directed film about the delicacies and foibles of human relationships. Australian cinema continues to mature and grow, and this splendid, very human film, is another example of the continuing growth of our film makers."
Paul Fischer

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The cast

Kimberley Davies and Ben Mendelsohn

Miranda Otto


CAST: Naveen Andrews, Kimberley Davies, Ben Mendelsohn, Miranda Otto, Noah Taylor, Hugo Weaving

DIRECTOR: Stavros Andonis Efthymiou

PRODUCER: Ann Darrouzet

SCRIPT: Stavros Andonis Efthymiou


EDITOR: Ken Sallows

MUSIC: Nick Cave, Ash, Blondie, Leonard Cohen, Tom Jones


RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes



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