Paper-pusher by day, superhero by night, twentysomething Griff (True Blood heartthrob Ryan Kwanten) pursues an eccentric double-life in this quirky and captivating Australian feature. Riffing on the classic action-hero movie, director Leon Ford unites a fresh-faced cast to enliven a wryly comic script rife with emotional and psychological depth. The film’s offbeat cinematography and imaginative characterizations lend cinematic verve to this charming tale about selfhood, love and kindred spirits.
For all his boyish good-looks, Griff is an awkward and fumbling guy who can never seem to shift into the right social gear. It makes him an easy target at the office, where bully Tony (Toby Schmitz) never tires of making him the butt of every practical joke, to the unflagging pleasure of the young women on staff. Fortunately, Griff’s alternate identity as lifesaver on Melbourne’s mean streets keeps him occupied on his downtime. But the more he lives as a magnanimous superhero, the less he is able to enjoy any of the comforts and intimacies of ordinary life.
Everything starts to change when Griff meets his match in the form of fellow weirdo, Melody (Maeve Dermody). A beautiful young scientist with a proclivity for bumping into furniture and spilling everything she carries, Melody and Griff forge a deep and touching bond. But their relationship is threatened by the demands of a conventional world that refuses to understand or accept their eccentricities. In order to break free from the expectations of others, Griff and Melody must throw caution to the wind and set their own standards for love and happiness.
The story of two lost souls that crash into each other with delightful, postmodern force, Griff the Invisible is a heartwarming and idiosyncratic film that brings irony and introspection to the superhero genre. —TIFF
People shouldn't approach this as a superhero flick (or you'll be terribly disappointed as there is hardly any crimefighting involved), nor as a film about mental illness (because the characters are 'sane'). Rather, it is a film about two people living in their own little world. One in which the superherotheme merely serves as a defense mechanism against the cold-hearted society that has damaged them so much.
I'm sick and tired of superhero films. Even the new narrative that superheroes are damaged sociopaths doesn't make the films more interesting for me. On the other hand, Griff's portrait of the superhero as manifestation of mental illness manages to be mostly refreshing. The final act (the "heartwarming" bit) falls flat - too stale and predictable.
What the critics are saying about this week’s theatrical releases — and a few of last week’s as well.