The Movie Waffler New Release Review - <i>Romancing Sydney</i> | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Romancing Sydney

Study of three relationships in the Australian metropolis.

Directed by: Anmol Mishra
Starring: Gabrielle Chan, Connor Dowling, Peter Hayes

Romancing Sydney recounts the defining moments of three exceptionally different relationships.  The center of the film is about Sachin and Elisa, who fell in love at first sight. On the eve of Elisa’s last night in Australia, their story is recounted as Sachin musters up the courage to ask for Elisa’s hand in marriage.  Then, there’s Zac and Alex, a gay couple whose seemingly perfect relationship falls apart when temptation becomes too much.  Lastly, there is George, who works with Sachin in an antique shop; after years of pining for their boss, Lilli, he finally musters up the courage to ask her to dinner, and once given the opportunity with her, the two fall madly in love.
That’s the short and sweet explanation of this confusing story that awkwardly intertwines the three couple’s stories into one mess of a film.  The only real clear thing about this film is that the filmmakers have ambition.
All too often, filmmakers deliver uninspired and underdeveloped stories because they don’t have a big budget, but here Mishra had a vision of a complex story about love, and he went for it.  Sadly though, this is an exceedingly elaborate endeavor that mostly suffers from inexperience.
First off, the audio is spotty at best; sporadic conversations become incredibly distracting, with words that don’t always match the actor’s mouth.  Other times their voices awkwardly fluctuate to unnatural volumes. Secondly, the transitions between scenes and the general random assortment of camera angles and movements truly only serve to confuse the audience of the focus of the scene.  Ultimately though, none of these things are as annoying as the actors' wooden performances of characters that deliver exceptionally cheesy and clichéd dialog.
If you strip down the distractions of the film and look purely at the relationships, Zac and Alex’s relationship is the least developed because most of Zac’s on screen time is spent being a complete jerk to Sachin.  While Sachin and Elisa’s relationship is the core of the film, I found it to be the most random and forced of the three, as they had little in common and most of their conversations were really awkward.  George and Lilli, one the other hand, was sort of charming because of the way George’s character approached his affection for his boss.
Ultimately, if Mishra’s talent ever matches his ambition, I would be interested in seeing what happens because I’m sure it would be pretty great.  But, as it stands with this film, he has a lot of work ahead of himself, as so much of Romancing Sydney feels more like practice film than anything else.

Andy Comer