Bellflower

4 Sep

Title: Bellflower
Year: 
2011
Director:
Evan Glodell
Writer: Evan Glodell
Starring: 
Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson
MPAA Rating: 
R, disturbing violence, some strong sexuality, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
Runtime: 
106 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 
80%

 

Whichever way you choose to look at it, whether you loved it or hated it and couldn’t see what all the fuzz was about, the fact of the matter is that you will leave this move engaged in some sort of conversation about it, whether it’s filled with adoring or enraged tones I don’t know, but Bellflower is a film that warrants a conversation upon ending, and that’s a high praise one has to pay to it. I personally loved this film, I really did, I thought it was this highly stylized vision about love, about apocalyptic fantasies, about infidelity, about all of these very different sort of themes and emotions that director-writer-star Evan Glodell mixes perfectly into one fiery movie as he quickly establishes himself as a true young talent that’s more than worth keeping an eye on, because he certainly has a lot to say.

This is a seriously intense film we have here, and I really cannot recommend it enough, Mr. Glodell plays Woodrow here, who along with his best friend Aiden tries to create this apocalyptic vision of the world, spending their free time with shotguns and building flame throwers in the hopes that they will be the ones to commence this massive apocalypse that would put the world on it’s head. But then their own lives are sent for a loop when Woodrow meets and quickly falls in love with Milly, a girl who’s trouble and a girl who knows damn well that’s pretty much all she spells, and from there it’s that the film goes off and creates this beautifully energetic vision.

And it’s seriously cool how Mr. Glodell marries all of these sort of ordinary elements and embeds them with all of these crazy things, I mean, yes, there’s a romantically frustrated guy who meets a sexy girl with whom he meets at a bug-eating contest and with whom he goes on a quirky little date with and then they fall in love, but there are also cars with shotguns and things catching fire every other second, so many things catching so much fire, and it’s just so sensationally well done it’s really mind-bending to think that such a gorgeous film was made with such a measly budget like the one this one had. And that’s all thanks to the mastermind behind the project, much like his character spends so much of the movie building all sorts of crazy weapons and gadgets, Mr. Glodell actually built the camera with which this film was shot himself, one that combined vintage camera parts with a digital camera and that gave this film the outstanding feel it has. This guy’s a mad genius, he built crazy stuff to able to build a crazy movie, and you should just surrender yourself to him and go for this mad ride that I loved so much.

This is pure cinematic imagination we’re seeing here from Mr. Glodell, you can feel his energy reaching at you from the screen, him and his cast charming us into this bizarre world he has created with all of this agonizingly intense images caught in all sorts of high-contrast and shaky shots that make parts of the film feel like a combustible dream, and when you switch to the parts of the film that were shot more conventionally it’s like when you wake up from a weird dream and you’re disoriented and don’t really know where the hell you are, it’s just way awesome the whole feel of this film. It’s just terrific you know, the whole idea of two best friends who have been huge Mad Max fans since they were kids and who since then have been building all sorts of weird weapons so that when the apocalypse comes along they’ll pretty much rule the world while riding in Medusa, the aforementioned shotgun-equipped vehicle.

You will be drawn like crazy to this film, you will, I bet you you will, Mr. Glodell is just so likable in a goofy sort of way that you’ll find yourself investing emotionally in him and wanting for him to succeed, and his chemistry with Tyler Dawson who plays Aiden is tremendous, it’s actually their bromantic love story that drives this film forward, with Mr. Dawson being perfect at playing that sort of guy who just revers his best friend. I loved this, I loved the cinematography, the editing, the sound, how organic the dialogue and the performances were, every thing here worked extremely well for me.

You may not really be getting why I’ve said that people may hate this film, and the fact is that Bellflower has a couple of very weird and crazy twists of plot that certainly make it polarizing, and the first half of the film narrative-wise is rather dissimilar from the final half, but to me it never felt forced, the fact that the narrative is so messy and uneven actually added to the whole effect the film had acquired to me, it feels like everything was done in an impulsive mood, but you just know Mr. Glodell had everything thought out perfectly, he knew some of it may not always work, but he knew what he wanted it to do, that’s how mad geniuses are. And, you know, some stuff here doesn’t work, but it’s to be expected from a first time writer-director who decided to make such an audacious debut that handled so many great and risky ideas. Bellflower is one of the most original visions of the year, Evan Glodell is one of the most inspiring new talents to keep an eye on, you should see this film, hopefully you’ll love it, but even if you don’t, at least it’ll provide for some good conversation afterwards.

Grade: A-

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