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Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger

Sometimes Australian actors deserve sympathy.  Forced to find roles in the scraps of the film industry they usually end up with crumbs.  Saddled with duds their true acting skills come to the fore during the film’s publicity tour.  Such is the case with ‘Blueburger’ featuring confused thespians fighting against a muddled screenplay.  Mostly shot in South Australia, the film does the state or its characters no favours.
Esther Blueburger (Danielle Catanzariti) is a Jewish teen bored with her private school. An abnormal girl in a staid world, she longs to break free.  Meeting public school girl Sunni (Keisha Castle-Hughes) changes things.  The cool Sunni takes Esther under her wing showing that conformity should never be accepted.  Her dysfunctional family notice Esther’s developing changes creating a whirlwind transforming her life.
Eccentricity is something that comes naturally rather than being forced.  The clumsy script delivers strange situations with unsubtle heavy handiness mixing jokes involving animals, religion, sex and nationality.  The already scrambled weak narrative is further undermined by stereotypical depictions of glass wearing nerds and cool chicks with earrings exposing the film’s self awareness.  A recent comment referred to the lack of funds aimed at ensuring Australian scripts were up to scratch.  ‘Blueburger’ is a classic case of a rushed film not knowing who to aim for combined with adult humour sitting uncomfortably with adolescent antics.
The actors do what they can with the shoddy material.  Danielle Catanzariti has the crucial quirkiness needed although her uneven acting reflects on the overall film.  Toni Collette appears briefly as Sunni’s mother wisely departing before the inexplicably ridiculous conclusion.  The location shooting is interesting with the wilds of Hindley Street looking grungier than usual.  The comedy never works as the drama dilutes any gains made hurting the disintegrating proceedings around the halfway mark.
Most local critics always like to support home grown product however it’s difficult in this case.  The jumbled screenplay never flies sinking the performances after the first reel.  The cultural cringe may be alive and well in this country but by any measure ‘Blueburger’ is an absolute shocker.
Rating out of 10:  2

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