When slacker business school graduate Scat (Shiloh Fernandez) comes up with an idea for a new energy drink, he tricks his way into meeting Six (Amber Heard), a cutthroat business executive. He arranges a deal with Six, but quickly learns that everybody is willing to stab him in the back to steal it, including his roommate Sneaky Pete (Kellan Lutz). With his great idea gone, Scat is left with nothing, until Six comes back to him for help. This moment begins their odd professional, and personal, relationship.
Adapted from the Max Barry novel, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Aram Rappaport, Syrup is a fast paced – and wickedly funny – film. Not only is the script incredibly intelligent, but the outstanding performance of Amber Heard makes this one to watch. Although the focus is meant to be on Shiloh Fernandez as Scat, it’s Heard as Six who steals the show. Smart, sexy, and cruel but kind, her character quickly takes the main stage, and it’s her story that viewers will ultimately be looking to.
Rappaport knows how to pull everything together as well, only allowing the camera to rest occasionally, which keeps the action going, and viewers glued to the screens. Rappaport mentioned in our interview with him that the characters seemed like superheroes to him, and you can quickly see how he’s brought that to life. Scat, Six, and even Sneaky Pete, seem to exist outside of everybody else in the film, as if they’re unstoppable. At the same time, they’re incredibly real and believable characters, even if everything they do seems so over the top.
There’s a touch of Kevin Smith in here, as the dialogue comes fast but never leaves the audience wondering what is happening. Everything seems so insane, and happens so quickly, but you’ll always be right on top of the events. Every so often, there’s a moment that lets you catch your breath, usually involving the growing relationship between Six and Scat, but when the business side of the film kicks back in, the movie moves into high gear. It almost seems impossible that Rappaport can pull it off, but that’s exactly what he does, and with amazing results.
With such a great sense of humour and a rather unique feel to the entire film, Syrup is a film to watch, and Rappaport proves that he’s a fantastic director.
Is Syrup opening weekend worthy?
Although it may appeal more to someone with an interest in the marketing world, the great humour and amazing performance of Amber Heard should be enough to make the film worthwhile for all audience members.
Syrup opens Friday, July 12, 2013 at The Carlton Cinema. Check their website for details.
MORE FROM TORONTO FILM SCENE
- Sometimes it’s funny to laugh: the psychology of the teen film
- Truth in advertising: an interview with Syrup director Aram Rappaport
- The TFS List: Canadian teen films