Sunday, April 18, 2010
BIG FAN (2009)
CAST: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rappaport, Matt Servitto
Written & Directed By: Robert D. Siegel
Cinematography By: Michael Simmonds
Editor: John Trank
The film feels like a dark odessey but it’s one that takes place in a lake not a ocean or river.
This is a film that I wanted to love but I ended up only liking a lot.
It appealed to me but scared me at how much the main character resembles me and my life. Only I hope not as depressing. In full admission I am one of the biggest fans of Patton Oswalt. I actually met him while he was in town filming this movie.
It’s a darkly comedic film where all the characters might fit a few stereotypes but they felt real. No one was perfect they all had flaws, They all had good things and bad things about them.
The Writer-Director of the film is Robert Siegel who also wrote THE WRESTLER. In his direction siegel is a simple storyteller he doesn’t use visual trickery or distracting angles, He still gets his point across. The films low budget also adds to the films believability. In his writing at first you could write him off as someone interested in characters in sports but each film goes deeper then the actual sport, Which ends up only plays a small part in the overall stories, as the film is showing the in’s and out’s of the sport. The films let you get inside they're heads and what is going on and affecting them in they’re immediate life. It shows the characters and the trouble they find themselves inevitably in usually done to themselves and the fact that the world is cruel. And of course when it rains it pours.
I really don’t like the films ending but if it ended any other way it wouldn’t have made the impact or told it’s message the way it clearly wanted do.
The film is a down trodden character study that seems to revel in it's misery and you feel it deeply as the situations and characters feel more realistic, then fabricated for the story.
Of course the film will be compared to the better TAXI DRIVER. But the film has a identity of it’s own and lends itself to the 70’s era type of filmmaking. Where character comes before story and plot. The reason I believe those films are so well remembered is because the films felt real and believable and the people who made the film wanted to tell stories and not show off they’re technical know how and care more about pleasing studios, audiences and box office returns then making a memorable film and maybe art.
What this film does cleverly is leads you down a dark road. That shocks you and fills you with despair the furthur you go and at each pit stop you think you know and feel dread thinking you know where it's going to lead. It goes in that direction, But then gives you a detour. Making it all the more revealing.
It’s a Must see but it is not a film that needs to be in your film library.