This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.
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Self-declared aspiring writer Hank Chinaski has neither qualifications, ambition nor ethics. Any dead-end job he lands is soon lost through laziness or mischief. His relationship with fellow deadbeat Jan gets strained to crisis through her insecurity, so he even gives up betting on horses which brought in easy money. Written by
A good film, just not a good Bukowski interpretation.
First, my only gripes with the film are about authenticity. And they're just because I'm a huge fan of Charles Bukowski. I've never thought of Matt Dillon as a "great" actor. But I thought Dillon's role as Bukowski was just okay. I almost can't quite put my finger on it. He looks a decent bit Like Buk, but his actual performance seems almost too much like a mediocre impression. I don't know. It's just not very natural or convincing or something. I'm not an acting coach. He just didn't click with me as Bukow...*ahem*, Chinaski, anyway.
As a whole the film just didn't capture the feel of the Bukowski novel. It seemed too clean for some reason. The whole film just seemed a lot more tame than the literature. His writing captures this great sense of adventure, danger, and a frequent raw vulgarity. But also, it has a very artful heart to it. The movie missed this entirely, in my opinion.
But believe it or not though, I still think it's a good movie. Outside the actual interpretation of Charles Bukowski's novel, it's still fun watch, with generally good performances, and a phenomenal story to have been based on.
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