The Movie: Review

The Movie: Review

Janet (Bonnie Root) is an actress whose career has seen better days. She lives alone and still has some connections in the industry, but she knows that things could be better. Then one day she gets a delivery and the person delivering her package called Walter (Jarrod Pistilli) is being rather pushy about Janet taking the package and even more so that he comes inside.

Then once he’s inside then Janet realises her mistake and Walter reveals his plan. He wants Janet to star in a movie that he’s written and he wants to film it right there and then. So, Janet finds herself hostage in her own home at the mercy of the ruthless Walter.

The Movie is the feature debut of writer/director Michael Mandell. It’s certainly a bold move to make your first movie partly about how hard it is to make movies, but there may be a little more to it than that. Unfortunately, it’s not very clear what intentions Mandell had behind making The Movie because it almost seems like the audience is supposed to be siding with Walter.

This doesn’t help as Pistelli gives a wildly exaggerated performance which is a cross between Jason Mantzoukas and Jack Black, but he doesn’t have the charm of either actor. This makes him more irritating than anything else.

If it feels like The Movie is meant to be an assault on the sense then it probably is but it’s hard to tell, it could be a social commentary on being a woman in the film industry, but that would be generous. After all, Janet is an actress forced to do things against her will in the film industry and if that’s what Mandell was going for when he created his movie then he succeeded. The problem is that this doesn’t come across unless you really are desperately trying to find a redeeming feature.

The Movie could have been a story about a woman struggling in the film industry only to be abused and thrown away. It could have been a home invasion movie about a man with mental health issues who gets the help he needs. However, despite the comedic tone at the starts it eventually gets much darker which makes time with Walter even less appealing.

The first movie from Michael Mandell comes across as something close to torture porn and completely misses the mark if it was meant to have some subtext. Although, if there was no subtext to be had then people should run for the hills.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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