The Plumber (1979) - Peter Weir
Very much in line with much of Weir's oeuvre when it comes to thematic investigation but The Plumber in structure and setting is much smaller and more succinct. The 'welcomed stranger enters a home and upsets the equilibrium of the household' motif is deployed with maximum discomfort and unease. Those looking for a home invasion thriller would be disappointed, as The Plumber is abrasive yet not built on any real sense of dread outside of this tradesman making the white liberal couple squirm. I say it has similarities to Weir's other work thematically in the educated white liberal couple are academically linked to aboriginal culture, so perhaps The Plumber is best described as adjacent or an extension of some of Weir's recurring themes, with his interest in colonialism, in this case, being told here through a story of class anxiety, white liberalism, and the thorny dynamics bound to exist between economic and social strata that define everyone's place in modernity. The Plumber is far from one of his best works, but it offers a lot of cringe-inducing comedic pleasures, with a large part of the movie revolving around a brash, working-class character getting under the skin of a woman who essentially represents "polite society". Perhaps I'm taking a precarious leap here, but perhaps this is figurative too, as "polite society has committed a lot of atrocities throughout human history in the form of imperialism/colonialism.
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