Mental is an Australian film which doesn’t fit neatly into any particular category. There are feel good songs from The Sound of Music but it is not a musical. Teen angst is explored but it is not a teen movie. Sharks feature strongly but we never see one being hunted.

The colours are vibrant and one of the themes is familiar for those who have seen Toni Collette in P.J. Hogan’s earlier film Muriel’s Wedding in that the father is oblivious to the females in his life as he pursues a life in politics and has affairs not caring if everyone knows what he gets up to as he is one of the lads. Toni Collette descends on the Moochmoores taking up a job as a nanny and sets about repairing them all, while sticking to her own equally bizarre agenda.

The main theme though is an exploration of mental illness and whether those who are neurotypical are the crazy ones and that railing against life and loss is the only sane response.

I didn’t expect to stick with it as it had some terrible reviews, but it held me to the end.

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