Griff the Invisible (trailer) is a romantic comedy-drama, and the first feature of Australian actor Leon Ford (“$9.99”, “Beneath Hill 60”), turned writer and director. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2010, “Griff the Invisible” is an idea that Ford had been developing since 2005.
“Griff the Invisible” screened at the Ritz Cinema on Tuesday, 8 March, 2011 as part of this year’s Australian Film Festival, and was accompanied by a Q&A session at which Ford, plus actors Maeve Dermody and Toby Schmitz, and executive producers Jan Chapman and Scott Meek, participated in.
Griff (Ryan Kwanten) is a shy, socially awkward, 28 year old who works as a customer liaison officer for a shipping company in Sydney. His reclusive, dreamy, nature has put him off-side with the majority of his colleagues, and he is frequently on the receiving end of the cruel pranks of Tony (Toby Schmitz), the office bully.
When not living in the real world, Griff slips into a fantasy realm where he is an all powerful masked superhero. In reality he somewhat more vulnerably wanders the streets of inner Sydney suburb Surry Hills, where he also lives, only to have his quest to combat crime seen as a nuisance, and instead be wanted for questioning by local police.
Meanwhile his older brother Tim (Patrick Brammall) begins seeing Melody (Maeve Dermody), a graduate scientist, who has some very individual ideas about the structure of the universe. Melody however becomes drawn to Griff after inadvertently learning of his secret identity, and begins to encourage his crusade.
When a retaliatory prank against Tony backfires at work, Griff is sacked, which precipitates an identity crisis. If he is indeed a superhero with special powers, why is it that no-one else – barring Melody – can see it? Or is it all a ridiculous fantasy, and something that he needs to grow out of?
Filmed in a Sydney that barely looks like Sydney, and interlaced with a droll wit, “Griff the Invisible” is a movie for anyone who harbours a desire to somehow change the world for the better, especially those who hold on to childhood fantasies of being a superhero – or perhaps quietly – like to think they are the neighbourhood crime-fighter.
Ford says he would like the film to be considered a date-night movie, and indeed this is more a story of romance than of superheros. “Griff the Invisible” is an insight into the elusive nature of love and attraction, and the mysterious forces that draw one person to another, impulses that are incomprehensible to everyone else.