Bellflower is an interesting film because even in it's flaws it kind of speaks to the kind of film that it is. Unfortunately for me though, that doesn't mean crap when the flaws are so blatant and intrusive. The film starts off interestingly, a really in-your-face turn back the clock montage that takes us to the beginning of our characters, two wild twenty-something youths who spend their free time (which it seems is all they have for some untold reason) preparing for their Mad Max vision of the end of the world. In their mind it's perfectly normal to spend their time building flamethrowers and tricking out muscle cars, which is so dumb and idiotic and an absolute perfect depiction of men at this time in their life.
The first hour takes a relatively standard approach to following these guys, but despite some pretty awful amateur performances and awkwardly obvious pieces of dialogue, it had a certain charm for me. Writer/director/star Evan Glodell gives an aesthetic feeling that was off-putting at first -- the focus falls off every so often, flecks off dirt come up into the lens -- once I settled into it I really began to embrace the tone he was going for. However once the film started to really get a rhythm going it decided to awkwardly jump forward a period of time (you can tell because the main character has a beard now!) it really caves in on itself.
It was going along smoothly but then decided to move the plot forward into more serious territory and then none of it worked anymore. Those bad performances became worse as the scenes progressed further and further into laughably horrendous melodrama with some of the most obvious and artificial character progressions and dialogue stretches I've seen. The film spirals down and down until it gets to it's last two chunks where I was just hoping they would clip the wings off and stop tarnishing the promise it once showed. There's a disastrous fifteen-minute sequence that felt absolutely worthless even before we find out that it actually is worthless, followed by the final act which just nonsensically rambles on for what seems like an eternity.
Ultimately, it felt like this was a premise that would have worked great as a short feature, but in stretching it out to something full-length Glodell really destroyed everything he had going for him. Still, despite ultimately being a failure, I think Glodell shows some promise here as a filmmaker and I'll be curious to see what he does next.
Action / Drama / Romance
Action / Drama / Romance
Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa". While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies. Often life's simplest and most obvious truths are the hardest to see, but once you've burned everything to the ground it may be the only thing left standing.
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March 02, 2019 at 06:00 AM