Chocolate Oyster film review: following lives of Bondi millennials

Anna Lawrence as Ellie and Timothy Lincoln Cole as Jordan in Chocolate Oyster.
Anna Lawrence as Ellie and Timothy Lincoln Cole as Jordan in Chocolate Oyster.

THE first 14 minutes of Chocolate Oyster is a one take, steady shot of character Ellie (Anna Lawrence) and boyfriend Jordan (Timothy Lincoln Cole) in a restaurant talking over lunch.

As mundane as it sounds, the scene is compelling.

The two characters who think they want the same thing slowly realise over the course of the conversation that the very opposite is true.

Chocolate Oyster is full of these moments as the cast of twenty-somethings navigate relationships, friendships and working hospitality jobs to fund their artistic endeavours, not quite able to afford their Bondi apartments.

The film is set in Bondi but it could be any Australian city, or even any city around the world.

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With no shots of the famous beach, the black and white cinematography detracts from the colours and light synonymous with the area.

The storyline also deals with the universal theme of young adults struggling to come to terms with the fact that their vision of how they wanted their lives to turn out is just out of their reach.

The actors provide naturalistic performances, aided by significant improvisation, and each character is recognisable as someone you might meet in a cafe or bar.

However, despite occasional glimpses into their inner struggles, the characters are too widely drawn to offer any specific insights.

Running at only an hour and 15 minutes, the film does not have the time to offer more than a surface look at the topical subject of the lives of millennials.

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THE ESSENTIALS

Chocolate Oyster (MA)

Directed by: Steve Jaggi

Starring: Anna Lawrence, Rosie Lourde, Aaron Glenane

Three stars

Review: Lucy Rutherford

Showing at Luna Leederville on Wednesday, April 3, at 6.30pm including Q&A with director Steve Jaggi