A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
The young executive of a publicity agency Henry Creedlow is a man that has repressed morbid thoughts and is walked over by most of his acquaintances: his wife is cheating on him with his boss and stealing his investments with help from his best friend; his housemaid is frequently stealing from his house and insulting him in Spanish; even his annoying poodle does not respect him. While in his daily morning routine listening to a talk show on the radio, he hears a man committing suicide live because he had been felt miserable and disrespected for a long time, and Henry feels impressed with the tragic story. The next morning, he wakes up to find his face covered by a white mask, changing his personality and letting him seek revenge against those who have humiliated him. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
But not in the way we were led to suspect from the packaging. If you believe the box, Bruiser is a thrilling joy ride from acclaimed director Romero, or something like that.
What Bruiser really is is psychological melodrama/thriller, mixed in with some wicked black comedy. Jason Flemying is excellent as Henry, and Stormare surprised me incredibly as the flamboyant, bad-ass publisher of the in-movie magazine, entitled (what else?) "Bruiser."
I've grown used to seeing character actor Stormare in character roles, usually benign or slightly creepy (Dancer In The Dark, Million Dollar Hotel), and Flemying as vaguely menacing (Lock,, Stock; From Hell), but here both actors play against their normal image to reveal great depths of skill...both are totally believable in their roles, which adds a lot to the film.
For those who know nothing about it...Flemying plays a mag exec who is downtrodden and stomped on by nearly everybody...Romero really makes you feel the depths of Hell this poor guy's in. One day, he wakes up to find that his face has been replaced by a featurless white mask...what does this say about his identity? Who IS this faceless man?
Over the rest of the film, Flemying and Romero explore the subject ruthlessly (with plenty of violence, of course, because, well, this is George Romero here)...and the viewer is left with a conundrum similar to the end of a Lynch film: Did this happen? And if it happened, well...what next?
For lovers of challenging film, this one is a keeper....bizarre, disturbing, and ultimately meaningful, this is Blue Velvet's benign nephew. Go see it or rent it ASAP.
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