The Young Fan: BRWC Raindance Review. By Naseem Ally.
The Young Fan is a 2018 Italian film ‘supposedly’ based on a true story. From the first few minutes of the film, it’s pretty much established that this is purely satire. It’s screening at the 2019 Raindance Film Festival.
It revolves around Mr.Gianni, a graphic novelist who pitches an adult film that he’s looking to wow critics with, come festival season.
To Gianni’s disappointment, this enthusiasm is not reciprocated. The pitch is turned down, forcing him to storm out and assemble a team to bring his vision to reality.
His pitch is comical in the style of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character ‘Bruno’. I wonder if Gianni’s castmate was able to hold it together during the shooting of that scene. It’s hilarious.
With the failed pitch Gianni hitchhikes across Italy with his friends, who become his makeshift sound and camera operators.
After numerous sways of the camera, failed attempts at getting the audio levels right in an open field and shouting at a bystander to get out of the shot, Gianni’s filmmaking attempt comes to a halt.
After receiving an anonymous letter posted on Facebook, in support, this rejuvenates Gianni and he decides to go full throttle with his film.
With this new lease of life, he even goes as far as meeting with a graphologist to find out the meaning of the letter penned to him.
Mr.Gianni is best described as a wacky version of the documentary maker Louis Theroux. From an alternate universe. Expect a ton of expression with crude Italian humour sprinkled throughout. His frantic personality is appropriate for this satire. At times though, it felt over the top and didn’t move the narrative forward.
The character who was the glue in this film was the quirky and out of place Davide. As the makeshift sound guy, his humorous one-liners hit at the right time, every time. It was like watching an Italian Zach Galifianakis.
Even with Davide’s contribution, it wasn’t enough to hold this film together. At points, it felt weak with no real objective. It was somewhat of a struggling attempt at putting a spin on cult comedy films of the past. Films like ‘Due Date’, ‘EuroTrip’ and ‘Knocked Up’ come to mind.
The influence of ‘The Office’ is evident with the constant panning of the camera between Gianni and Davide. I appreciated the mockumentary style of cinematography. Above all, this film lacked structure which left many gaps.
In Italian fashion, it’s very expressive and boisterous. However, it feels overwhelming with too much going on too quickly.
Constantly, jumping from scene to scene. Davide is the glimmer of hope in this film. His comedic timing helped to fill in the awkward moments where you say to yourself ‘what just happened?’
If it was well thought out and given better direction, it would have been much more of a cohesive film.
To put it in Italian, it needed to have a tidbit less ‘passione’ and more ‘direzione’. That’s Italian for direction by the way.
Nonetheless, if you are going to Raindance ‘The Young Fan’ might be worth a watch.
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