Friday 6 July 2012

Granted (2011)

Director: The Kennedy Brothers
Star: Daniel Rojas
This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in Phoenix in 2012. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012 films.
Granted is a lot of fun. Its theme may be as old as the hills, but it's a timeless one that fits the film's timeless feel wonderfully. The humour is contemporary but the settings are often retro. The style is older still, being mostly silent with a lead character very much in the vein of Charlie Chaplin's lovelorn tramp. He's Pete, played by Daniel Rojas, and we meet him in the park with a girl who completely ignores him. All it takes is one hot guy in the background and Pete's history, even though he doesn't see the outrageous flirting and sexual innuendo for a while. He doesn't see much, as is underlined when a lamp lands on his head and he wishes three inevitable wishes for a gay genie to grant in ways that naturally don't work out. He obviously hasn't read The Monkey's Paw either. We follow his misadventures for a while, with an invisible romantic Parisian band in tow, until he meets a girl flicking through records at Red Hot Robot.

I really enjoyed this film, which feels vaguely like City Lights as reimagined by Daniel Clowes. It's not the sort of movie that can be analysed, because it relies less on technical aspects and more on a spontaneous feel on which the whole thing succeeds or fails. Quirky romance is like music: the best technique in the world won't make up for lack of soul, but this one feels pretty soulful, perhaps mostly aided by the score by Michael Markowski. When Shakespeare wrote 'if music be the food of love, play on', he would only have been more right if he'd understood the dynamics of silent movies. The score is the other place this could have died horribly, but Markowski does a very capable job. You're not going to learn anything here: it isn't that there's no deep meaning, it's just that you've already heard it all in Can't Buy Me Love and You Can't Always Get What You Want. What you'll get from this is a fun little diversion, a great midpoint in a short movie set.

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