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Cosi Film Review

Updated on January 17, 2019
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Jennifer is a writer, editor, feminist, and Potterhead. She also loves her cat and studying cat behavior.

Cosi [DVD]
Cosi [DVD]
I found the movie for an awesome price on Amazon. You can take a better look at the movie through this link.

About an amateur theater director from Sydney, Australia, this aussie film Cosi will take you into the land of mental illness, theatre, and the hilarity that comes from being in both of these worlds at once.

Open your mind and your heart as you watch this film. The character issues and how these portrayals deal with each situation will warm you to the core. I dare you to watch this and then walk away without a greater sense of worth.

Because I'm interested! =)

Do you watch many foreign films? This can mean ones in other languages such as Japanese or just ones that were shot and produced in the UK. Anything other than from the U.S.

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Lewis, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is having trouble getting his career started. In the opening scene, he is finally offered a job at a mental institution, where it seems the other applicants were less than satisfactory to the board. Lewis's part here is to help the rehabilitation process at the institution by having the mentally ill patients participate in the arts--in this case, put on a play.

Ben quickly learns that keeping control of these kooky characters is going to be much more difficult than he anticipated.

Roy, played by Barry Otto, is one of the patients in the institution for the mentally ill. He basically takes over the auditions for the production that Lewis is supposed to be directing. Lewis has an idea for a simple play so the patients can take it easy, but Roy has another idea. He wants to challenge them! (And Ben, in the process.)

Roy chooses five other patients, and then lets Lewis know that they will be putting on Cosi Fan Tutte, a musical opera by Mozart. Even though none of the patients can sing, act, or even speak the play's native language of Italian, Roy is convinced that he can help Lewis get the patients organized enough to get it together and pull it off.

Lewis concedes basically just to shut the overly ambitious Roy up. The scenes leading up to it will have you rolling with laughter.

Lewis's girlfriend Lucy, played by Rachel Griffiths, is utterly relieved that Lewis has finally found a job. She is not thrilled, however, when Lewis's friend Nick (Aden Young) shows up out of the blue and asks for a place to stay.

Lucy learns that Nick needs a place to stay because his girlfriend cheated on him, that Nick is set in his belief that all women cheat and are incapable of not cheating, and that Lewis is coincidentally directing a play about men who test their women's fidelity. Her previous relief of Lewis's job evaporates as she tackles her emotions over how the play will work out, and what influence Nick and the play will have on her so far emotionally stable and not-accusatory boyfriend.

While Lucy becomes more and more fed up with how close Lewis becomes with the patients of the mental institution, she grows closer to Nick, perhaps blindsiding some and yet making others wonder if Nick is right about the all women cheating.

Lewis resents this continual growth of a relationship between his friend and girlfriend and, perhaps because of the play he is directing and the influence of Nick's belief of all women's infidelity, starts to believe Lucy is cheating on him.

Instead of facing this worry, Lewis focuses even more on the play. He works with closely and comes to care deeply for his cast. He is so involved that, when he's fired and someone else takes over as director to ensure that the patients perform a play they are actually capable of doing, Lewis and the patients still work on the play without the rest of the institution's employees' knowledge.

Through the many hours working together, each member of the cast is seen in a new light, and with new capabilities--or disabilities is the case with Doug, played by David Wenhan. The disturbed man burns down the institution's theatre house and then threatens to kill Lewis.

Luckily, Doug is detained, the cast find another place to set up for the play, and Lewis takes over Doug's spot in the final performance. The play is uplifting and promising as Cosi is performed without a glitch--well, at least to the audience's knowledge.

Worth the Watch!

If you have not seen this Australian film, I highly suggest it. It will change the way you view the mentally ill, the theatre, and even the way you view what humans are capable of physically, mentally, and through the trials of the heart.

And here is another excerpt, this time from the play near the end, where Tonie Collette has to keep the show going!

© 2011 Jennifer Kessner


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