Bellflower has been getting a good amount of very positive reviews, people are really talking this movie up. I don't really share that same enthusiasm for the movie as everyone else does. I thought the film was a schizophrenic mess. Sure it had some great visuals and it was completely whacked out of it's mind, but to me that doesn't make a good film. I give props to the team that put it together though. They put a hell of a lot of work and money into making this movie, and there is definitely an audience that will really enjoy it. In fact Ben P. and I saw it together at the Sundance Film Festival, and he freakin' loved it. Here is his description and some of his thoughts on the film,
The movie begins with a montage of images featured later in the film, and they're pretty haunting: we're sure this story isn't going to end happily. The proper opening introduces the two main male characters Woodrow and Aiden: they're best buds who do nothing but drink and prepare for the apocalypse by building Mad Max-style flamethrowers and muscle cars. (One of the flaws in the film is it doesn't explain what they do for a living or how they're able to afford these ridiculously expensive pieces of custom material.) When Woodrow meets Milly, they fall in the kind of love in which only hipsters can fall: driving from L.A. to Texas on their first date, drinking whiskey from a custom dispenser in Woodrow's car, generally being almost too cute for their own good. And as tacky as that sounds, this part of the movie is actually really well done. It makes you care about the characters and root for them; they're both interesting people individually and they make a good pair.
After returning to L.A., the newly-established couple continues their romantic streak - much to the unspoken chagrin of Aiden, whose relationship with Woodrow borders on homoerotic. It's OK, though - he's crushing on Milly's best friend Courtney. Unfortunately, as one of the interspersed title cards throughout the film says, "All Good Things End." This is the point where the movie takes a turn into some strange territory.
The imagery and tone of Bellflower shifts dramatically, taking a path down an avenue of destruction that's seemingly a one-way street. Heartbreak is meshed with violence and the film gets pretty damn dark; so far, in fact, that I wasn't sure I liked it anymore after being completely sucked in by the first half. Time is thrown into a blender, leaving the audience wandering and disoriented - much like Woodrow in the wake of his relationship gone bad. I won't reveal how the film ends, but I'll tell you that it goes in yet another interesting direction and will leave you thinking about it long after you leave the theater (fingers crossed it gets picked up for distribution, but I think it's a long shot at this point).
To read Ben's full review Click Here. As you can see we have very different opinions of it. I think I'm going to have to watch the movie again just to see if I missed anything, maybe I was in a weird mood when I saw it the first time, but it just did not click with me. I Honestly thought I was going to like it the first time around, it sounded like it would be an awesome film.
Watch the teaser trailer for the film below and tell us what you think! The movie is set to get a limited release in LA and NY this summer.
Here's the official synopsis:
An apocalyptic love story for the Mad Max generation, Evan Glodell’s impressive feature debut paints a classic, yet urgently contemporary, tale of the destructive power of love.
Bellflower follows two friends who spend their time building flamethrowers and other weapons in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang, Mother Medusa, to reign supreme. While waiting for the destruction to commence, one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls in love—hard. Quickly integrating into a new group of friends, the pair set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, and extreme violence more devastating than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.
With highly stylized photography and editing, Bellflower is an exhilarating, character-driven joyride. Fueling this narrative with fantastic imagery and extraordinary performances, writer/director/actor Glodell elevates the ordinary experiences of friendship and romance into the stuff of legend.
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