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:: Take Away

The notion of take away food is a big talking point these days as society grapples with the unhealthy state of today’s youth, because of the cheap convenience of take away food from the big franchise stores. This Australian comedy looks at the traditional nature of the fish & chips shop where it has been an accepted practice by many families for a weekly dose of fish & chips, potato cakes, dim sims, etc.

The film begins with an interesting and comical setting for the take away notion as it “conceived” many years ago. Then the story begins by setting the scene in suburban Melbourne. Tony (Vince Colosimo) and Trev (Stephen Curry) own fish & chips shops in the same small shopping strip. They are at loggerheads with each other as they strive to attract the local customers. They try to outdo each other with daily specials and gimmicks, such as Trev’s “Dim Sim on a stick” creation.

Two of Australia’s best young actors play the roles of respective employees. Rose Byrne as Sonja (Tony’s cousin) and Nathan Phillips as Dave. He was seen coming from the unemployment office when Trev grabbed him off the street to throw him a new challenge assisting him in the shop.

Things take a dramatic turn when a “Burgies” fast food outlet opens in the previously vacant block next to Tony’s shop. The local community tries to muster support in opposing it. Sonja assumes a leading role in gathering attention. However, they soon realise that fighting big business is tougher than they imagined. A twist of fortune sees Dave made an offer to join Burgies and a series of events sees Tony and Trev join forces to take their protest to Burgies head office in Sydney. The battle continues until an unusual ending.

Take Away is directed by Marc Gracie who has been involved in the local comedy scene. The humorous script attracted a fine cast and tells a story that will relate to many Australians. Vince Colosimo is in good form as the tidy, meticulous shop owner and Stephen Curry is adept as the rougher, belligerent Trev. The supporting cast is good with Matt Dyktinski adding solidity as the stern-faced Burgies store manager. The performances of Rose Byrne and Nathan Phillips could have been enhanced, as a romantic sub-plot doesn’t eventuate.

It’s a good fun film with laughs and energy. The first half is more pronounced in this aspect and perhaps drops away slightly later on. However, the good laughs and the theme of the fish & chips ritual in Melbourne makes for enjoyable viewing.
Carmine Pascuzzi

Screening on general release