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 nasty boring movie about a nasty boring character
Factotum is slightly redeemed by some good acting from the female characters, and a determined effort not to hide from the basic fact that the main character is an obnoxious, violent, unpleasant man. The trouble is that he is not very interesting, either. None of the characters has much to warm to or be interested by. The only sometimes-sympathetic character seems to have a split personality, which I put down to a crap script rather than anything deep and meaningful in the movie. Well-photographed, and generally professional production all round, but it failed to convince me that there was any worth in its subject matter. Matt Dillon seemed to be impersonating an early Jack Nicholson without an ounce of his roguish charm.
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