Starring: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston
Director: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek
Running Time: 90 mins
The Breaker Upperers is a New Zealand film about two best friends who work offering a service for people to get out of failing relationships. However, when one becomes too involved in the clients’ lives, their plans start to fall apart.
I liked this film. A small, quirky little comedy with a good sense of humour throughout, not to mention two thoroughly charismatic performances from Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek, it’s an enjoyable and pleasant watch righ the way through. While it may not quite excel when it comes to story depth and ingenuity, its playful vibes and characterful nature are what really make it tick.
You’ll likely be aware of the world of quirky Kiwi comedy from the recent exploits of director Taika Watiti (Hunt For The Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows etc). The Breaker Upperers isn’t quite on the same level of out-there weirdness, but it certainly draws good inspiration from Watiti’s films and adapts it to a slightly more grounded situation, giving the film that delightfully strange and quirky vibe throughout.
As a result, there’s a whole lot of hilarious comedy here, with a combination of well-written, intelligent humour, and the delightful weirdness of deadpan delivery that makes these Kiwi comedies so charismatic. It’s a light-hearted affair, and the ridiculous exploits of the film’s two leading ladies are ample opportunity for mishaps and chaos galore.
And with all those mishaps, comes the film’s wonderfully easy-going nature. Too often are quirky comedies reliant on a rather convoluted story to back up their unorthodox characteristics, but The Breaker Upperers pushes forth with a fairly generic story, and makes it a whole lot of fun to watch.
So, while I can’t say that I ever found this to be the most engrossing watch, with the arc of a rocky friendship coming off as a little dull at times, the film’s humour and light-hearted nature counterbalance that with great energy throughout, keeping me laughing even when I wasn’t all that enamoured by the story at hand.
And finally, the two lead performances from Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek are a whole lot of fun, with the pair playing brilliantly together, and hitting their character’s comedic beats perfectly right the way through. While their screenplay doesn’t quite make for riveting depth or intrigue, their performances are delightful and lively throughout, and only add to the fun of the film as a whole.
Overall, then, I really enjoyed The Breaker Upperers. It’s a simple, easy-going movie, and while its story isn’t the world’s most enthralling, its light-hearted and playful nature works well with a delightfully quirky sense of humour throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.