RKS 2023 Films: “Midnight at the Paradise”: Monogamy and Sticky Flypaper

I believe Buddhists speak of “auspicious connections”. You have encounters one might believe are chance or random but really are more than that. So, last week I am driving in the Parkdale area of Toronto and drive by “The Paradise” an old theatre converted to an event venue. These days a theatre or even a former theatre in a city is rare as the theatre experience has largely been suburbanized to huge soulless complexes more like a factory than a pleasant local theatre. I didn’t give to much thought about this relic from the past until a PR firm sends me an e-mail advising of a special midnight showing of “Midnight at the Paradise”. Is there something to this Buddhist “auspicious connection”?

“Midnight at the Paradise” is one of those films in the “relationship genre” which can be revealing and engrossing or trite and sappy. There are brief moments of sappiness but most of the film is engrossing. Can monogamy trap its participants on sticky fly paper or can they liberate themselves with infatuation lies and double-dealing behaviour?

I can’t give you the answer to this as who am I to disclose the plot and ruin your ogling peeping Tom eyes rooting for monogamy or a break from it. And it is a good watch never quite knowing where it is heading.

The characters walking on the fly paper are Jeff (Ryan Allen) a physician and Iris (Liane Balaban) a PR type as Jeff’s wife. They intersect with rock n roller Alex and his fiancé Anthea (Emma Ferreira). Then there is terminally ill Max a film critic (oh Lord!) and his ex-wife Charmaine (Kate Trotter) both who are no longer on the fly paper. Max (Kenneth Walsh in his final performance) and Charmaine are Iris’ parents. The casting for the film was a great success as these characters are believable and are all fragile. I do appreciate Trotter’s wonderful performance reminiscent of earlier Canadian cinema. Oh love and lust!

I should compliment the soundtrack particularly the numerous songs by “Neighbourhood Watch”.

So if you are a fan of the “relationship genre” above and beyond Harlequin palaver and want to further gape at 4 poor flies on the sticky fly paper and two escaped flies and revel in the subjects of monogamy, deception, commitment, forgiveness, lust, honour, confusion and honesty “Midnight at the Paradise” is up your alley but careful of that sticky flypaper.

This Canadian film is showing at the Paradise in Toronto on April 21st. How fitting!

This film is directed by Vanessa Matsui.

RKS 2023 Film Rating 90/100.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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