"You'll only enjoy it if you like to watch failure."
If Dan Vardy-Cobb makes a career out of music it will be the greatest rock n roll swindle of all time. On musical integrity alone, this Casio keyboarding crooner hasn't got a chance - he worships Tina Arena. As with many substandard music artists, marketing is the key to success, and it is indeed the marketing process behind this film, ala Blair Witch, that provides the dimension. Just as Blair Witch is marketed as reality, ditto Bigger than Tina.But Cobb doesn't exist...or does he? There's a DVC website, the DVC album and wasn't that DVC strutting the red carpet with a flame haired temptress at the ARIA awards?
Cobb represents the soul of every desperate fame-seeking pop star. But judging by his music (you don't have to play his records backwards), he sold his soul to Satan. Once you've done that your only chance is to form a metal band. Ignoring this rule, he drags his Casio keyboard around old men's pubs until a dodgy management team gives him a chance of cutting his dream disc. Dan becomes consumed by his quest for fame and squanders everything that should be dear to him, including his girlfriend Chrystal (Lightfoot), the beloved inspiration for his "musical work". The film charts his unglorified rise and fall from grace. The film is in the mockumentry fashion of Spinal Tap. But instead of slap and tickle, it reaches comic high notes through very bleak chords.
Shot on digital camera, this low budget endeavour has created intimate and amusing turmoil but is hindered by its own accomplishment. The realism, with its honest and harsh character portrayal, is self-defeating. A mockumentry it may be, but the characters are too real to like and collectively create a depressing rhapsody. With Vardy-Cobb, it's hard to have sympathy for the tragic fool; even ironically, you're just left praying for his swift Rock and Roll suicide.Ultimately, the film is a superior Australian film experience. It's a success, but you'll only enjoy it if you like to watch failure. ---David Michael