Friday, 30 September 2016

REVIEW - HURRICANE BIANCA (MATT KUGELMAN)


It's nothing but bad weather for Hurricane Bianca, a well-intentioned project with more talent involved than you'd ever know from watching it. Its low-budget, crowdfunded 'charms' I can get past, but only to a point - when lack of financial capacity subsides to simple lack of creative capability, the whole enterprise is exposed as a shoddy sham. And trust and believe, my hopes may have been high, but my expectations were low - I willed Hurricane Bianca to stir up a comedy storm, and when it didn't, I willed myself to weather the shitstorm that erupted in its place as best I could, to laugh at the jokes that weren't entirely there, or even not there at all, to show a sign of support for a film that I already had supported, right up until seeing it. Matt Kugelman is evidently inspired by the crassness, the corniness, the coarseness of drag humour, most specifically the acid-tongued Bianca del Rio, the drag persona of lead Roy Haylock and also his character's alter ego in the film. But those inspirations are wasted on Kugelman, his inability to translate them into the kind of comedic content that his star (and greatest asset) can manipulate so brilliantly at the best of times gutting Hurricane Bianca of what should have been its very essence. Kugelman has ideas indeed, if not necessarily of his own devising, but they're swamped beneath cliches that neither he, nor his cast, nor his editors, nor apparently anyone can exploit to the full subversive potential of the art form that is drag. Bring a raincoat, because Hurricane Bianca sure gets sloppy.