Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

Rest for the Wicked

This review first appeared in the Sunday Star Times, 20th November 2011

When the call went out for our, erm, “older” generation of New Zealand actors to appear in a new local film, the cream of the crop evidently responded.  Seeing these well-known, well-worn faces from yesteryear is just one of an abundance of delights to be gained from watching Rest for the Wicked – doubtless the country’s first rest-home crime comedy.

Set in a retirement community where old Shortland Streeters seemingly go to see out their last days, the story is told by retired police detective Murray (Tony Barry) who checks himself in as an occupant in order to pursue the cold case of a suspected murderer, Frank ( John Bach). Suspicions abound as various residents pop their slippers, and Murray divides his time between interviewing potential witnesses and attending ballroom dancing lessons.

For anyone with an octogenarian parent who sees a conspiracy around every corner, or thinks drug dealers should be summarily shot, Murray’s notions may have a ring of truth. There are laughs aplenty, from the group activities like “Memory Time” to the deadpan ramblings of Ken Blackburn’s Mr Hayes.

Director Simon Pattison has been blessed with a top cast to play out his bespoke script which includes lines such as; “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the hell happened”.

Don’t wait to wonder – get along and see it for yourself.

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