SLEEPING DOGS (Terrance Odette). 78 minutes. Opens Friday (April 13). Rating: N Rating: N
Sleeping Dogs does not harken back to the bad old days of Ontario realism when the marginalized loser was king, Goin' Down The Road was the touchstone and nothing got more glamorous than The Hard Part Begins.
Those were dull, slow movies, but at least they had plots, characters and climaxes. Director Terrance Odette 's disdain for all that, and anything else that might smack of actual drama, leaves little to watch but leaden, earnest realism. Not too much happens, and it happens slowly.
Too bad, because his premise has promise. A blind diabetic drunk sneaks out of rehab to find his dog before it can be put down. He's pursued by an orderly who's got problems of his own. Trouble is, we never learn much about either man's life, and their little odyssey does nothing to illuminate them.
First-timer Brian Stillar as the blind guy is convincingly cranky and bitter. Tony Adah does what he can with the orderly, but the character is almost a nobody. These guys are marginalized in their own movie.
Visually, the film shaky-cams around highways and suburban streets while playings fragments of old-style country and western music, attempting to depict alienation but failing to offer any insight.