Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 23rd October 2012
Viewed as Voting Member for AACTA Film Awards
Australian Box Office Takings: AU$1,432,741
From the director of “The Castle” comes a fun, yet important film about a quarter life crisis, the reason for living and how life cannot be measure by how successful you are in your job, the amount of money or your girls scoring record. “Any Questions for Ben?” is one of those well-meaning films that counts and goes the distance in dealing one of the more prominent issues about one’s passion, direction and focus in life.
“Any Questions for Ben?” is a film about an universal issue of the reason for our existence, yet it remains extremely and uniquely Australian in its comedy, approach and Melbourne cityscape. What does it truly means to be successful? I am sure, once in your life, whether you are in your twenties, thirties or even sixties, there will be a clear moment in your life where you question yourself, quite simply, why am I doing this? Sometimes, maybe you only need a moment of inspiration and you can sure of what you have been doing for most of your life is well worth it. For others, it may not be quite so simple, as it may take them time to figure out what it is that they are truly passionate about their lives and what essentially drives them. It is exactly the question and dilemma that faces the main character Ben for the entire film, in fact, it took him exactly two hours running time to finally figure it out.
Josh Lawson (“The Wedding Party”) is fast becoming one of Australia’s hottest up and coming talent, and is perfectly casted as the man that seem to have it all in his hands and destiny. However, Lawson is able to make his character extremely likable and his questions about life seems rather genuine and realistic. There is something about his approach that makes the audience feel as though he truly wants to change and embark on a totally different direction in his life. Likewise, Rachael Taylor (“Transformers”) is suitably and contrastingly free-spirited, as Lawson’s turning point in life.
Director Rob Sitch is at home in depicting the urban life style of trendy Melbourne. His toying of the corporate world within the midst of the marketing trade can relate to a lot of people going about routine aspect of their own lives. The fact that Lawson got everything anyone would wish for in a great career and is still depressed make it all the more interesting. When he is willing to lose everything to start over again, that is the moment when Lawson is able to finally find himself and in the process making the audience question about their own lives and existence. Perhaps the defining scene of the movie is when Lawson is talking about his life story with a hall full of his old school students and not surprisingly no one has any questions for him.
All in all, “Any Questions for Ben?” is a good example of how to make a trendy and relevant Australian movie. Director Rob Sitch is able to show how important it is for everyone to question once in a while the reasons for our own existence and ask ourselves what it is that we are truly passionate about. In life, there is never a straight forward answer, sometimes, it requires us to dig deeper to find ourselves. Perhaps in the eyes of others, it is a waste of time, a stale in your career, but for one to life without regrets, there are times, when you just have to pursue it. (Neo 2012)
I rated it 8/10