Starring: Syrus Shahidi, Charlotte Gabris, Tom Hygreck
Director: July Hygreck
Running Time: 85 mins
Blockbuster is a French film about a man who, after being dumped by his girlfriend for a silly video he made for his terminally ill father, tries to win his partner back while examining the past of his relationship.
This film is a bit of a mess. Although it’s got the heart and creative atmosphere of a quirky indie movie, it doesn’t really hold out with a particularly consistent or engrossing story at any point, often getting distracted with its stylised non-linear storytelling, all of which makes for a less-than-enthralling watch throughout.
The general premise of Blockbuster is a man trying to get his girlfriend back after a break-up. There are other elements to the story, such as his relationship with his father and the whole history of the video that caused the break-up, but the main plot is a simple romantic comedy one, told in a non-linear fashion as we jump between his efforts present day to get his girlfriend back and the better days of their relationship in the past.
Now, non-linear storytelling isn’t always easy to do, but if there’s one genre where it works well, then that’s the romance genre, with the likes of Two For The Road and 500 Days Of Summer using the unorthodox structure to great effect. Blockbuster, however, doesn’t manage to play to the strengths of non-linear storytelling in emphasising the dramatic ups and downs of a relationship, instead getting a little too bogged down in telling the stories of individual episodes of the couple’s life together, rather than giving you a good picture of their relationship as a whole.
As a result, Blockbuster goes about its story in a very messy and convoluted way, which means that it’s never really able to grab your attention on any front. From the start, the break-up is abrupt and a little jarring, and then with the following story that attempts to give you some good context to the relationship beforehand, as well as the man’s bizarre new efforts to get his girlfriend back, it’s really difficult to form any sort of strong emotional connection with the characters, which of course renders the story less than enthralling.
Now, Blockbuster is in general a rather poor film, with a messy story compounded by some rather underwhelming performances. The film’s indie atmosphere, along with its cute and quirky home video style do it some favours when it comes to giving it all a little bit of character, but that’s about it for the positives, and the actors don’t do all that much to make their somewhat dull characters any more riveting or likable, rather appearing like generic personalities that don’t have the passion to make a romance story like this really work.
Overall, I wasn’t all that impressed by this film. It has its strengths, and it’s a cute and quirky indie movie to watch at times, but for the most part, it’s a messy and uninteresting watch with less than engrossing characters and performances, as well as a general lack of emotional depth that makes it fairly boring throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 5.9.