Friends And Crocodiles DVD
This DVD is currently unavailable to order
Directed by Stephen Poliakoff
Produced in 2005
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - British Film
Poliakoff burst onto the scene in 1977 with his nuclear whistleblower Stronger than the Sun and when he followed up with the multi award-winning Caught on a Train in 1980, he seemed headed for the stratosphere. For the next 20 years his output was steady but didn't really catch the critical eye apart from the extraordinarily intense Close my Eyes in 1991. But then in 1999 and 2001 he wrote and directed two utterly sublime masterpieces Shooting the Past and Perfect Strangers and his public profile went up and stayed up.
In Friends and Crocodiles Poliakoff's style has developed, adding a lighter touch but with all his outstanding virtues intact. There aren't many great playwrights who actually like people but Poliakoff does. Here he explores the intense working relationship between a man and a woman, falling apart and getting back together again over the years with no romantic interest between them - a non-sexual relationship that shapes their lives as they navigate the snakes and ladders of the 70s and 80s. Both are bright and attractive, she's a hard worker and cares, he's a maverick who seems to think women come in pairs. Their journey is also a great nostalgic treat for those of us who lived through the time.
Neither the acting nor the direction could be better, and apart from fifteen minutes towards the end of the first half that should have been cut, it just gets better and better.
(I said that the acting couldn't have been better and it couldn't but wait until you see Bill Nighy and Miranda Richardson in the companion piece, Gideon's Daughter, due for release in a couple of months, they are definitely my new best friends.)
Our protagonists are a man and a woman with an intense working relationship, falling apart and getting back together over the years with no romantic interest whatsoever – a non-sexual relationship that shapes their lives as they navigate the snakes and ladders of the 70s and 80s. Neither the acting nor the direction could be better and Jodhi May, in particular, is luminous.
Length: 110 mins
Cat No: BBCDVD1774
Format: DVD Colour
- Cast Interviews
- Photo Gallery
- Stephen Poliakoff Interview.
by Anon on 6th February 2006
Set in the context of the 1980s, a much reviled decade, it was never going to be easy to appease the presumptious sinews of all critics who view this time as one of th... Read on
Set in the context of the 1980s, a much reviled decade, it was never going to be easy to appease the presumptious sinews of all critics who view this time as one of the most decadent, if not the most decadent, of times.
It is no mean feat, therefore, that Mr Poliakoff has somehow pulled this off with extraordinary aplomb. His previous time pieces are set in worlds familiar to our eyes. Little wonder that a touch of recent history caused the relaxed masses to gasp and feel a little uncertainty at what was before them.
The story itself is a simple enough ditty, sung to the luxurious lullabies of love and wonder upon a sunkissed cheek in July, freckles of creation seeking droplets of life, a waterfall upon time, an act of undiluted joy.
Espousing these theories may evoke ridicule in some quarters, but what I believe Mr Poliakoff managed to convey here is, incredibly, a single story uniquely personal to every person watching. With viewing figures in their millions, that is a lot of narrative!
Jensen P Star pins his colours to the mast of a love story, others may see a different picture. I believe this is a piece of drama that will evolve with time and not remain static in the year in which it was first viewed.
So far I have dreamt about it three times and my dreams are in colour! Hide
by Anon on 26th January 2006
This movie I found to be most beguiling. The overspill of greed and excess from the 1980s, a wonderful piece of work. It moved me a great deal. I found it to be very ... Read on
This movie I found to be most beguiling. The overspill of greed and excess from the 1980s, a wonderful piece of work. It moved me a great deal. I found it to be very romantic. Who is the beautiful guy with the long hair who appears in the early party scenes by the London bus and is in the drug room??? Wow! This was a beautiful picture with beautiful people in beautiful places. Every day seemed like a summer day. It was not confined to establishment principles and I love it as I can each day more.
by Anon on 25th January 2006
Loved the play and related to the theme. Beautifully shot, the period was well observed, dressed and communicated. Many of us felt at the end it felt as if it should b... Read on
Loved the play and related to the theme. Beautifully shot, the period was well observed, dressed and communicated. Many of us felt at the end it felt as if it should be the pilot for a drama series. Probably because by that time we really believed in and cared about the characters. The acting was good by today's wooden TV standards, and Robert Lindsay as the flawed greek chorus a particular delight.
It's been a week now, and an especially busy week at that; but I'm still thinking about it. So what does that tell you? Looking forward to Gideon's Daughter. Hide
by Anon on 18th January 2006
Poliakoff has undoubtedly been responsible for some of the best TV dramas of the past 25 years, but this is not one of them. Arch and vacuous, structurally careless, i... Read on
Poliakoff has undoubtedly been responsible for some of the best TV dramas of the past 25 years, but this is not one of them. Arch and vacuous, structurally careless, intellectually barren, historically lazy and emotionally empty, it seems to me a sure sign of the dangers of too much creative freedom. He is given a large budget, 110 minutes of screen time, massive promotion plus total control over the writing and directing, but has nothing new to say, no interesting characters to develop and a flat, pointless narrative. He may have written a new play every year since 1980, but sometimes less is more. Quality control is urgently needed if his reputation is not to suffer. This film should have been abandoned at the moment of conception. Hide
by Anon on 18th January 2006
The acting was cringeworthy at times, the characterisation was silly and under developed, the plot ridiculous. Some of the lines uttered were like ones from a 14 year ... Read on
The acting was cringeworthy at times, the characterisation was silly and under developed, the plot ridiculous. Some of the lines uttered were like ones from a 14 year old's school play about 'feeling different'. An utter waste of everyone's time. Is this the best we have to offer? This man is considered one of our best? God help us. Any week on The West Wing the writing embarrasses this self-important tosh. A humiliating experience for the viewer and I hope the director and cast. And to think I paid for this. Silly silly silly. "Here's to paul" my arse. Hide
by Anon on 18th January 2006
Without a doubt, an absolutely lavish and beautifully shot Poliakoff drama with stunning attention to detail. The analysis of the recent past and a lost past seen thro... Read on
Without a doubt, an absolutely lavish and beautifully shot Poliakoff drama with stunning attention to detail. The analysis of the recent past and a lost past seen through the eyes of the various characters is a joy to behold.
It is this magnificent study of human nature and the complexity of atypical relationships that herald Friends and Crocodiles a true classic, as we see very real people moving through and between different worlds amidst a changing social climate. Paul and Lizzie, together with the equally important coterie of disparate characters prove to be a compelling combination. Almost every scene has significance and there is true beauty in the shadows and wonderment created, resulting in a magical and almost dreamlike world. Somehow, it also manages to retain its sense of complete reality.
Indeed, an overriding romanticism permeates throughout in this majestic work of excellence - a masterpiece! Hide
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