Suburban Mayhem

Starring Emma Barclay, Genevieve Lemon. Directed by Paul Goldman
Running Time:
Rated:
Can there be blacker than black? In the case of Katrina, the anti-heroine of mayhem, the answer seems to be a 'yes'. We are being offered the portrait of a psychopathic narcissist - and beyond.

This is one of those quirky Australian comedies only the quirks are completely amoral. No, immoral. Katrina is partly aware of the moral boundaries that she crosses but most of the time she is on a level and open playing field where there is only one rule: whatever Katrina wants, Katrina gets. (She is as unscrupulous as Nicole Kidman's similar character in To Die For.)

The setting is an ordinary suburb of an ordinary city, in this case Newcastle. The people there are ordinary, especially in their dealings with one another. But, Katrina and her brother Daniel have been spoilt by their father (who has just been murdered as the film opens) and brought up by Aunty Diane whom they loathe. Daniel finds himself in jail and Katrina lives only to get him out - even though she has a boyfriend and a baby, praising herself as its mother, but a worse and more neglectful mother it would be hard to find.

Emily Barclay (from In My Father's Den) brings Katrina to vivid and gobsmacking life. A strong cast do their best in creating characters whom Katrina victimises. The exception is Aunt Diane (Genevieve Lemon) who is a regular contributor to the television documentary being made about Katrina, giving her her fifteen minutes of notoriety.

This is black comedy that has the courage of its defiant convictions. And Katrina has the last word of the film and her documentary. She notes in a confidentially matter-of-fact tone that she expected more from the sale of her father's house!