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The Big White - A Movie Review

We don't see movies like 'The Big White' anymore.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read
3

We put the body in the dumpster. Did it get up and walk away?

The Big White is a 2005 film. Paul and Margaret are having financial difficulties. One day, Paul discovers a solution. Dragging a frozen corpse from a dumpster back to his house worsens the situation when two hitmen come after them.

I always like to find movies with unique storylines that deserve more recognition for their understated quality. We don’t see movies like The Big White anymore. This film is hilarious! Meeting the definition of a dark comedy, the film incorporates memorable character work and dynamics.

The Big White boasts a stellar cast, led by the brilliant comedic legend, Robin Willimas. The late Williams was a gifted actor who made everyone smile with his charismatic personality and witty humor. His inclusion in this film also sparked my interest in watching this film.

Williams incorporated excellent comedy and dramatic chops in the role of Paul Barnell. Paul is a travel agent, crippled with debt. Do you know how we learn what not to do from characters? Paul’s actions are the exact definition.

The Big White influences a character dynamic I want more films to do. The film has three side stories. Paul and his wife Margaret (Holly Hunter) struggle with her mental illness. Hunter is fantastic as Margaret, a foul-mouthed woman. To ensure an accurate portrayal of Tourette’s Syndrome Hunter studied with a psychologist with the disease for two days in Nova Scotia.

While their bickering provides some of the film’s funniest moments, Paul and Margaret are positive they’ll rekindle their relationship. Their interactions are very sweet.

As revenge for kidnapping their body, two bungling villains cause a ruckus in Paul and Margaret’s home. Tim Blake Nelson and W. Earl Brown are a riot as Gary and Jimbo, also providing slapstick. This storyline was my favorite.

Another storyline involves Ted and his girlfriend, Tiffany (Giovanni Ribisi and Alison Lohman) who are working out their relationship while keeping a close watch on Paul. Stories are never about one thing. it’s essential to think of several components.

Expect an appearance by Woody Harrelson. I took a double take because I didn’t recognize him as a daredevil punk rebel! This is a character I have never seen Harrelson in.

The film was shot in Winnipeg in May. Nobody expected a twelve-inch snowstorm when set dressers always covered the area with fake snow! Actors described the weather conditions as ‘brutally cold’ most days.

The comedy in The Big White generates laughs, and Mark Mylod explores themes. He masterfully balances the film’s comedic and dramatic elements. Several things are going on at once. I kept wondering where The Big White was going to go.

Let’s talk about the film’s comedy because it is the highlight. Williams set up most of the comedy. Mylod doesn’t shy away from the absurdity of the plot, but he grounds it with relatable themes.

Comedy has several definitions among filmmakers, especially when it comes to absurdity. That’s how I can best describe the comedy in The Big White. It is all over the place in the film, especially with the number of subplots.

No need to take the film seriously. That’s what makes it fun. The moral, however, leads viewers to pursue happiness and challenge what life throws at them. Relationships are the main theme in each. Beneath the surface, this movie explores deeper themes. What lengths would you go to fix your financial needs?

The Big White is different and hugely underrated. I laughed at several scenes. I recommend you check it out.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (3)

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  • Andrea Corwin 29 days ago

    I just watched it and it was great! I lived in Alaska (although it wasn’t filmed there). Holly did use that gritted teeth talk in this one and I loved her acting. The song at the end was hilarious. So sweet and funny. Thanks for doing this review!!

  • Andrea Corwin 29 days ago

    I will have to check it out!! Holly Hunter's talking through gritted teeth many times gets on my nerves but she is a good actress and I love Woody usually. I like some quirky movies.

  • emaabout a month ago

    Oh I love this movie so much!

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