Review #1: Wild Canaries

Who hasn’t dreamed as a child about it, to at least once play the role of a detective and use your abilities to solve some of interesting riddle?  Probably most of us, but not everyone had a chance to be one. Characters of the latest film by Lawrence Michael Levine by chance got the opportunity to meet the children’s dreams come true.

After a few years break, the audience can watch another movie aforementioned director. Wild Canaries had a world premiere in March 2014, while in Poland the opportunity to see the latest Levine’s movie created American Film Festival in Wroclaw.


Film tells the story of a seemingly ordinary pair of engaged couple. Noah (played by the director) and Barri (played by Sophia Takala, privately wife of the director), live in New York, all the time trying to “reach out” and find a common language, which isn’t the easiest of tasks, because opposites attract each other.

Barri, full of energy with lots of ideas and sometimes childish is the exact opposite of her partner, who usually complains and complains about his health, which could be a sign of a midlife crisis. The conflict between them is in the air and only needs a catalyst, which becomes the death of their older neighbors. Young woman suspects that there was a murder, while a man believes in the version of a natural cause of death and considers the behavior of his fiancée as a deepening paranoia. After a series of strange, sometimes funny situations and twists they will have to face the truth about the death of the old woman and of their relationship.

barrinoahend1 In the first scene of the film is shown to us a couple of canaries, which escapes from the cage at a pet store. At the beginning of this scene may seem unnecessary or meaningless, and no links to the story. However, after the screening could be interpreted as a desire to break out of the “cage” and gray routine of everyday life. Adventure for birds is to get the freedom to fly, even if it’s only temporary freedom, it would cause the change. For couple whirl of events caused by the mysterious death of a neighbor, will be  stepping stone.

Considering the title Wild Canaries and somewhat symbolic introducing scene, could venture to say that the desire to change the gray reality is the main topic of the movie, while murder it’s just a  background story.
The film can’t be pigeonholed into one film genre because the director efficiently mixes elements of detective fiction, drama and crazy comedy. However, this is not an original approach to the subject of crime. Watching this film sometimes we can see some resemblance to  Woody Allen’s “Scoop”. Mainly similar elements in those two films are criminal intrigue, light and slightly humorous approach to the subject of crime. Pair of main characters is also a similar, although in Allen’s film we’re dealing with an older male character, who because of age has the right to complain, as opposed to character in Levine’s film.


Well-written script and presentation of intrigue is a half of succes, the other is  performances of actors, in this case, is great. Perfectly matched to the role, twisted Barri, Sophia Takala is without a doubt one of the strengths of this film. Somewhat  intricate plot isn’t too fancy and keeps the viewer in suspense until the end of the film, on the other hand, the director doesn’t forget about humor. If you want watch film with your friends and have fun, this one is definitely for you.


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