Rise of Fizzy Pop
18 Jun 2022
Robert Nek, Stephanie De Palma
Sometimes a film title alone can be enough to arouse a natural sense of curiosity. Perhaps a title that could tell a short story all by itself. The Rise of Fizzy Pop falls into this category with its natural sense of word play. However, it’s difficult to assign any further labels to this unusual film by Robert Nek. Its part fantasy, part comic strip and part psychological study of how agoraphobia can trap people in isolation. It works on all of those levels and could easily obtain cult status with some wacky characters to support the narrative.
Pete Bennett of Big Brother fame stars in the title role as a music obsessed agoraphobic dreaming of rock stardom. However, the big drawback is a fear of the outside world with its myriad complexities and dilemmas. He seeks comfort in his own world inhabited by weird and wonderful friends in his flat. There is Dexter, a lizard with attitude; Dave the fridge who keeps hunger at bay; his AI Google, a much funkier version of Alexa; Billy, his stuffed bear who provides comfort and Shadow, an annoying voice that often fills him with self-doubt.
He rehearses every day, perfecting his technique in the hope that he might become a rock star. One day John the toilet makes his wish come true; and now has the ability to write a song and perform at the Battle of the Bands gig. However, his friends beg him not to leave the safety of their environment. A chase ensues but will Fizzy make it to the gig and fulfil his dreams?
To really appreciate this piece the viewer needs to get their head around the interaction between characters. The idea that Fizzy has conversations with largely inanimate objects represents his thought process. This is a product of solitude in its most extreme form. Fizzy breaking away from his friends is a foot into a brave new world. To deliver a performance on stage means Fizzy connects with real people, and can leave the voices in his imagination behind. If you look for it, the film makes a statement about loneliness and how fear can force people into their own dangerous world, however comforting it might appear to be.