An Australian film from the 00s, He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (from now on known as Felafel) is very familiar if you know your Aussie dramadies (drama comedy – I can’t take the credit for that one). In the ilk of Dogs in Space, Two Hands, Candy etc (if you haven’t seen them – do it already!)… These films make you laugh one minute and gasp the next.
They all depict an underbelly of Australia – the young and lovely but drugged up and breaking the rules.
(At this point I would like to point out, for the non-Aussies that the ‘felafel’ of the title is in fact a flat bread roll filled with salad (tabouli baby), assorted delicious sauces and felafels. I would usually call it a felafel roll, felafel wrap or felafel yiros but its usage in the title is acceptable to Aussies.)
Felafel continues the student underbelly theme (also well represented in American films) with the heavy smoking, walls of empty beer bottles in the rentals and the usual crowd of misfit housemates ranging from wiccans to neo-Nazis.
We find main character Danny (Noah Taylor – you may know him from such roles as the hand remover from Game of Thrones) living in his 48th consecutive rental trying to write stories and be a writer but stuck on the first line.
Danny and his mates spend time killing cane toads (if you are not Australian this sounds awful but they are introduced pests and they are killing the local fauna – so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds… quite), drinking beer, smoking pot and philosophising/whinging. Eventually Danny walks away and we meet up with him in house number 49 in Melbourne where his housemates slowly turn up on his doorstep and the drama ensues. Next stop Sydney and number 50.
There are so many funny bits in this film that the serious becomes all the more shocking. It is very cleverly a picture of someones crappy year and the parts of life that stay with you well after your student rental days are over.
I think this is a very Australian film in that there is humour to be found in even the darkest moments, as well indicated by the title. Us Aussies like to try and find the positive where we can and often its found in humour. Look to the current protests over our Federal Government and the best bits are the signs people make to get their point across, pure comedy gold. These are the slogans that make their presence known through sharing on social media. We all know its bad but at least we can have a laugh. I don’t think this is always the best attitude but it sure makes for some interesting movies.
Felafel introduced me to the concept of moonths (made up words FTW). There are 13 full moons in a year, therefore, 13 moonths. Simples. Also, albino moon bathing (leaving it there).
I liked Felafal and, while I fail to see how you can continue to hold a falafel roll up when you die, I appreciate that ‘He Died’ is not as catchy a title. Plus it has an awesome Aussie classics of the 90s/00s sound track.