“They talk so many goddamn ways – it’s all Greek to me” Axl Rose, One in A Million
Who ever knew slapping a kid hard in the face could come back to haunt you? The Slap examines this entirely implausible theory and several questions present themselves. What kind of monster hits a little boy like that? Well, he’s not exactly a monster and it’s not just any little boy. In many ways the little shit had it coming but in the end you have to blame the parents don’t you? Oh life it’s all so complicated and don’t get me started on parenting! No really, don’t get me started because I won’t have much to say. But families, couplescum, conflict and meltdown I have lots to say about. And The Slap has that up the ass. We start off on the day of Hector’s 40th birthday party. Hector (Jonathan LaPaglia) is a handsome, fit, healthy, university educated, moderately affluent gentlemen with a half decent house and half decent swimming pool. His apparently happily married to Aisha (Sophie Okonedo), a half decent piece of pie who is a bit of a controlling skank he finds himself constantly apologising to even when he’s not really in the wrong. They have a delightful daughter and a podgy sappy son. It’s all so very dreamlike and suburban.
He seems to have it all but life has a habit of disaffecting the successful. Intrusive voice-over guy let us know early on that Hector’s first thoughts on that fateful day not for his wife but to be with their young blonde and beautiful babysitter Connie (Sophie Lowe) . Hot, 17 years old and down to fuck – yeah, I’m sure the bored 40-year-old Hector is going to turn that down.
As helper guests arrive for the party the combustive elements are subtly laid down. Let’s meet the key guests at this shitty party. Say hi to Rosie (Melissa George) – colossally nausey friend of Aisha still breastfeeding her little shit of a 3-year-old child Hugo. Have a guess who it is who gets the slap? Ding-ding! That’s right – it’s Hugo for being an aggressive little shit given no boundaries by his scumbag hippy parents. And the slapper is Harry (Alex Dimitriades), Hector’s equally aggressive alpha male cousin. Don’t get me wrong, Harry is a twat and you shouldn’t slap a kid. But you know he kind of had it coming.
The shitstorm it kicks off, the friendships it wrecks, the secrets it yanks out of the shadows – all these things form the fabric of The Slap
The shitstorm it kicks off, the friendships it wrecks, the secrets it yanks out of the shadows – all these things form the fabric of The Slap. It’s a great inciting incident to examine exactly how strong a social circle you have, find out where your loyalties lie and who your friends really are. Nothing is exactly clear-cut and you can kind of see both sides. People stuck in the middle are pulled in opposite directions and there’s a grim rubbernecking pleasure in watching it. Don’t get too superior though. One day something just like this will happen to you and your nausey friends and the balancing act you’ll be expected to pull off will make Cirque du Soleil look like amateurs.
The verdict: Never trust a hippy.
Marks out of 10: 7.5