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average rating is 3 out of 5


Brian Penn


Posted on:

Feb 25, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Davo Hardy
Written by:
Davo Hardy
Dan Monty, Tim Crowe, Kat Campbell

Nudity is the ultimate freedom of expression in a society still wrapped in conformity and modesty. Anything approaching the naked form is usually confined to the bedroom or beach. Complex confronts the inhibitions and embarrassment we naturally feel about our bodies. But what happens when an irresistible force meets the immovable object. And what does it tell us about convention; do we still need the comfort of things that are safe and familiar?


Psychology student Lachlan (Dan Monty) is looking for a flatmate and places adverts all over the city. He gets the usual round of geeks, misfits and borderline psychopaths before meeting Travis (Tim Crowe). His new flatmate quickly settles into what he assumes is a blokish new environment. However, Travis discovers Lachlan’s fondness for naturism and recoils at the prospect of evenings in the company of someone who ‘lets it all hang out’.


An illuminating discussion ensues as the pair squabble over the rights and wrongs of nudism, and how two clashing world views can possibly co-exist in one cosy flat. Social etiquette is one thing but Lachlan needs the rental income and Travis needs a base close to work. So, both are drawn into a standoff out of necessity. Lachlan secretly enjoys the challenge of intellectual gymnastics and might even provide the basis for a thesis. Travis is outraged and oddly surprised by the prude lurking deep within him. The impasse might however be broken by Caitlyn (Kat Campbell) whom Travis meets in a nightclub. Free spirited Caitlyn happily embraces naturism but will she be able to cure the warring flatmates?


This twenty six minute film undoubtedly has its moments and certainly explodes a number of myths; for example that naturism could only really exist in the countryside. My own naivety overlooks the fact that naturism can be practiced in the city albeit indoors. However, the plot raises a number of issues that aren’t properly explained. For example, why didn’t Lachlan specify that he was seeking a flatmate who shared an interest in naturism? Of course this would remove the potential for conflict and dramatically reduce the number of candidates, but logic still screams at the top of its voice. Similarly, why didn’t Travis leave when he knew what the score was; most men would have run a mile? Those quibbles aside Complex is an intelligent and well observed study of social etiquette.

About the Film Critic
Brian Penn
Brian Penn
Short Film
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