Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ten Statements About....ROMAN (2006)

There is sadness..and madness..behind these eyes...
"You should go out and find out what it's all about, 'cause otherwise you sit around just tortured by your curiosity...and then you'll make up some twisted answer inside your head just to satisfy yourself and you'll never really know what the truth is."

1) I'm not surprised that this is a Lucky McKee script directed by Angela Bettis, as this pretty much serves as a companion piece to May.

2) McKee actually proves himself to be something of a decent actor with a great deal of awkward charm. However, I really, really wonder if the film couldn't have been improved by dispensing with the frequent interior monologues--he's capable enough that his physicality is able to convey what Roman is thinking.

3) And much like May, the film manages to do the trick of having a character mentally unbalanced by his loneliness and isolation we never, ever lose sympathy with. Even after he does something truly heinous at the end of the first act, the fact that he's guilty and tortured as a result of this action makes us feel for him.

4) If I was the person who designed the hairstyles, fashion and jewelry for Nectar Rose's Eva...I wouldn't want any screen credit. Yea Gods, every time she shows up it looks like she took a header into a hedge.

Stare, Lucky...stare all you want.  I know I am...
5) I do wish that they didn't stretch out the revelation of what Roman did with Kristen Bell's 'Isis,' since it's very obvious what he is doing and her body is incidental to the character arc, being on some levels metaphorical.

6) Bettis does suffer from a case of First Time Actor Directing disease...the frequent quick cuts and artsy dream sequences interferes with what should be at the core of the film--namely Roman and the way this one violent act effects his life.

7) I do like the fact that Bettis does do a compare and contrast of 'Isis' and Eva, but not in thunderingly obvious ways. And by the time we realize that Eva is a sort of negative image of 'Isis,' it's far too late.

8) My LORD, does this film drive home how tiny Kristen Bell is...that shot where she's standing in front of McKee, she appears to be about to head off to grade school.

"Wait a minute--THAT'S NOT A WINE COOLER!"
9) I really, really could do without the multitude of slow, tinny lo-fi songs that just won't stop coming throughout the film's 90 minute run time. They add nothing to the film, and should have relied more on the silence to emphasize Roman's isolation.

10) I will admit that I sort of figured out the big last minute twist...although I really, really liked how Roman got what he wanted in the end.

Overall...while it does suffer a bit much from Arthouse Artiness, and prolly would have been more effective if Bettis relied more on the actors and less on dream sequences and pseudo music videos, this does work as a decent character study that you know cannot end well.

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