Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Bellflower" (2011) - Movie Review

“Bellflower” is a wonderful aspired mess. It has the images, the ideas and the uniqueness a movie maker is looked out for and gets it, almost. At the same time I think through the future to see this as the first in the many of an aspiring film maker who picks himself up in giving a complete film. The film has already attained critical acclaim for its look and feel raising it fast to the cult status but I think it has to go some way. I cannot wait what the writer/director and star of this film Evan Glodell is going to bring next but with all due respect for his creativity, this is an amateurish attempt with potential flaming out literally through the screen.

The film focuses on two friends Woodrow (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) who seem to have no source of income but have diligence in building a flame thrower and a deadly car inspired from the film “Mad Max” and the love of their post apocalyptic chaotic world. Their daily routine involves waking among dirty clothes, riding through scrap metal store to pick up random hoses, valves and what not and then build from it. They substitute beer and liquor for water and they live life through the second. These two go to a bar where only people like them would go. No wonder they have a live cricket eating contest. There stands up a blonde with trouble tattooed on her right when we see her. She is Milly (Jesse Wiseman) who hits it off with Woodrow. There begins the end of a spectacularly failing love story.

The single most thing that keeps this film alive and kicking is Joel Hodge’s cinematography. Evan Glodell designed and built that instrument which captures colours in a manner which are so home to old films. When colour photographs came to origins which reminds me of 70s and when it is dusted through the times and weather, what we get is a nostalgia in colour. This gets transformed into every frame of “Bellflower”. You would have never seen fire and flame like this and it soothes and fluids through the eyes of its viewer. It is real and at the same time surreal. It is what makes this otherwise ordinarily messed up weird film into an experience.

Woodrow and Milly begin their date on an impromptu road trip to Texas in the hunt of dining at the most scariest and filthiest place they could think of. Through that journey blossoms instantaneous love. Woodrow as much a crazy and hipster as he can be is stunned by this beauty. She is impulsive, more than Woodrow has ever been. She takes the time in her hand, wraps it up and throws through the wind and inhales it in a heartbeat. She is deadly and delicious. She is the ultimate woman and the terrible one.

In between their blossoming love is the devoted friend Aiden. Amongst providing sumptuous alcohol, cigarettes and being the supportive partner in crime for blowing things through the air and on road, he is the best friend Woodrow could ask for. Milly’s best friend Courtney (Rebekah Brandes) is another girl sprayed on emotions throughout and wondering when a broken heart would be there to be fixed. Soon the disaster happens as Milly breaks Woodrow’s heart in the worst possible manner. As Woodrow loses himself into the depression and slowly chews and swallows in dealing with the betrayal and heartbreak, the story spins out of control into chaos.

“Bellflower” is spotted with potential brilliance. It has the characters to be watchful for but has amateur actors walk through lethargically. For starters, Evan Glodell should have distanced himself from the acting department, at least for his debut. While he could very well be a good actor, he does not pull through on dialogue deliveries. What seems to be an attempt in being realistic and natural in these two falling love becomes a comedy of bad deliveries. It does not hurt the film but does not benefit it which would have made it a much better film.

I did not dislike the film nor did I like it. What I saw is an artist with a great crew showing his unique abilities in providing a film that has visuals and presentation style that has not been seen before. It is filled with poetry and odd impressive background scores that punches through the screen. There is no doubt that Evan Glodell is a film maker and the passion of giving something new is evident. What is missing is the completeness of it and having a coherent thought throughout the film than for the half of it. The next venture of Glodell should be focusing on that and I will be fluttering with excitement to see that.

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