Bellflower (2011) – Evan Glodell

Bellflower is the kind of movie where the shot of the motorcycle’s POV has dirt smudges on the lense. It’s also the kind of movie that has POV shots from the perspective of the motorcycle. This is the story of a group of near 30-year-old children who take nothing seriously from jobs, to personal responsibility, to fire safety, but when one is careless with sex, everybody gets bent out of shape. First time director Evan Glodell sets up every sequence with a musical intro and his telling is not quite as stylish as he thinks it is, energetic as it may be. It’s impossible to get behind the protagonist, played by Glodell, when his attitude seems to be that he cares only about drinking and blowing stuff up (when asked what he does, he replies “building a flamethrower,” and that’s the truth, he doesn’t appear to have any other function) he behaves so cavalier about everything when we find out something he holds dear (apparently) lets him down, we can hardly be expected to feel that bad for him.

There’s been a lot of dramadies lately about 20-something-males who refuse to grow up and say “dude” and “fuck” a lot (full disclosure, I was in one of them [Box Elder (2008)]) and I’m not adverse to the genre but it does run the risk of presenting us with immature pricks who aren’t funny or interesting. Glodell does utter a line that could easily stand as the motto for his character and their ilk, it is delivered during what I believe is the second fit of vomiting in the movie: “I’m so fucking pissed and I don’t even know who to fucking blame.” However, Bellflower takes a wicked turn about 2/3 of the way through it when it comes to resemble Box Elder less and, say, Audition more. The switch is compelling and the change in tone is done competently and with subtlety. The film’s look, which Glodell created himself by rigging a special camera is highly saturated and may create clues to the last third’s mysteries upon repeated viewings. I’m not sure what it all adds up to but the final disturbing act both acts as it’s own interesting section and places a pointed irony onto the sloggish first hour.

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