While others are flocking to their local movie houses to watch the new blockbusters, I find myself at smaller venues and film festivals watching short films. The beauty of short films is that if you don't like them, hey, they're almost over.
This was not the case with 'Cry for Bobo'. I saw this film for my first time at the Milano Film Festival. It had premiered there 4 years before and was still the talk of movie-goers and staff alike. It had become something of a cult film, and rightfully so. I watched it 3 more times and found more to love about it each time.
The casting was right on the mark. The lead was played by an actor who I actually believe is a clown everyday of his life, makeup and all. He played Bobo with a sort of complexity that made you wonder if, like any oppressed minority, he questioned who he was on the inside (behind the make-up and silly toys). Smaller supporting roles were just the right touch; I'm thinking specifically about Bobo's clown family who were so sad at times, I wanted to reach out and tell them: "Yes the world can be cruel, but I will never again treat a clown they way you've been treated!" I was amused and yet, strangely perplexed by my sympathetic feelings. The role of the police detective was played with the right amount of theatrical pompous. Often in this type of role, there is a fine line between playing the part and overplaying it. Kudos to the Director on a fine job understanding this boundary and overcoming it in this film.
It goes unsaid, but the Production Design was fantastic (as it needs to be for a film like this one). I have a feeling that the extraordinary detail that we see and notice in the film is really only half of what is actually there. The subtlety of a movie that is so absurd (in the best sense of the word) makes it a true work of art. Afterall, as 'Cry for Bobo' tells us in the end, the best way to reach people is to make them laugh. I left the theater each time whistling the score and remembering, if only for the sake of Bobo, I have to keep on laughing!
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