Mean Dreams is available in: English on Netflix Norway
When two youngsters meet and fall for each other, they must go on the run from the girl's corrupt father, who is also the sheriff of the town.
As far I know, there’s a thin difference between Canadian films and the US. Just like the Hong Kong’s Cantonese and the Chinese Mandarin films are. They exchange starts and crews, but most of the Canadian film I’ve seen were French language. Those English films are not as popular as the Hollywood’s on the world stage. Lots of good films go unnoticed like the recent film ‘The Confirmation’ I reviewed a few months ago. If this same film were made in Hollywood, would have been considered an average. But for the Canadian standards, I mean they usually won’t make the big budget fancy films, hence it is so much better.
This is a coming-of-age thriller drama. Revolves around two teenagers as they run away with a bag full of cash from their parents. It all begins with a girl, who arrive in a small town with her father. Soon she makes a friend with her neighbour boy. His parents are neglect kind when it comes to him, and her father is an alcoholic, abuser, as well as a dirty cop. One day her father comes standing between them, that’s the opportunity they were looking for to run away, since being with their parents has not been any good. But her father is not in the mood to let them go as his money was involved. So the running and chasing game begins.
You might say, you have seen this story in all the similar themed films, no matter its Hollywood, European or the Korean. That’s what I thought too, but still it is a very good film. I’m not expecting it to impress you as well. If it does, then that’s great. But it all depends on your taste in films, quantity of films you watch regularly and most importantly your expectation from it. It was like another ‘Cop Car’, but there’s no car involved in the core of the plot. It’s all about the money and the mad-cop father. It looked kind of western style, or the tale that very much suitable for the humid California settings.
> ❝It’s no ocean, but it’s ours.❞
In this, it was always cloudy, wet and chilling moisture atmosphere where all the chase takes place. The great locations that avoids to get in any major town/city. Other than 3-4 main cast, there’s no one else. Because most of the scenes are between the boy and the girl and sometimes her cop father in isolated places. There’s a dog in the film, but not focused enough to classify it as a dog film from one of the angles. The pace of the narration was so fast with not too long or very short overall runtime. It had many twists and turns, yet definitely you would predict most of them.
Nice performances, by both the youngsters. As usual Bill Paxton nailed it in his negative role. It was one of his final films before his death early this year. It was a small appearance, but a prominent role that I surely would remember it for him. I was not anticipating anything extraordinary. But when I learnt about its synopsis, I thought I understood everything about the story there itself. Though watching it in the film was a different experience and one of the reason was, it is a different cast and atmospheric setting.
I felt they should have improvised in some of the parts, but at the end I’m satisfied being what it is. Especially in the initial stage, the intro was so simple and skips fast to the next stage. I did not fully understand any of the characters about their earlier life events to the point where this story commenced. But going forward, I started to have an idea, seeing how the tale has progressed. That really helped to come to the point directly.
There are no smart scenes like the film characters to take measures to counter the threats in a fancy way. That’s done mainly to impress the viewers. This screenplay tried to be realistic as much as possible, but there’s a couple of scenes that could only work in cinematic. I think that’s sometimes necessary for a film. After all it is a film and made for entertainment purpose, not a documentary feature. But overall film was much better with enough tense moments and interesting developments. Lots of good films released in the last 12 months and this is not one of them, but considering it is from Canada, surely it is. Because I’ve already given the reason for that in the very first paragraph. So thumbs up for it from my side.