Roman (Lucky McKee) is a lonely young man who yearns to find love, happiness and companionship. Tormented by his ungrateful co-workers and trapped in a life of tedium as a welder in a local factory, Roman's one pleasure is his obsession with the elusive beauty (Kristen Bell) who lives in another apartment in his building complex. When a chance encounter with the young woman goes horribly wrong, a moment of frenzied desperation triggers a chilling turn of events leading to the girl's murder. As he teeters between deranged fantasy and cold reality, Roman's struggle to hide his grisly secret is further complicated by an eccentric neighbor named Eva (Nectar Rose) who develops an unlikely attraction to Roman and forces herself into his dark and tortured world. Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
"May" surely was one of the most impressive & remarkable debuts in the horror genre ever, the short but masterful Masters of Horror episode "Sick Girl" definitely proved that they weren't just a one-hit-wonder and now, with "Roman", Angela Bettis and Lucky McKee make it clear that they're here to stay! Even though not on par with the two aforementioned titles, "Roman" is one of the most enchanting and artistically creative stories of the last few years and it's guaranteed to have at least some kind of emotional impact on you. Even though the characters drawings and atmosphere building is somewhat similar to "May", this is not a real horror film. "Roman" actually can't be categorized in just one genre, as McKee and Bettis professionally blend together sinister horror, pitch-black comedy, melodrama and psychological thriller aspects. It's a tragic & hugely ironic tale of love vs. loneliness and how they can both turn out disastrously. Lucky McKee pretty damn good in his first real lead performance is Roman, an unhealthy introvert metal worker with an extremely depressing life-style. He doesn't talk to any of his colleagues, always eats the same pork & beans dinner and drinks the same type of beer and dreadfully fears simple things like TV. The highlight of each day is for him to sit in front of his apartment window at 5.30pm and observe his ravishing neighbor as she goes to collect the letters in her mailbox. When he finally meets her in person (following her OWN initiative), Roman loses his mind and kills her in brief a moment of rage and despair. Realizing the crime he committed, he punishes himself by staying indoors even more and ritually disposes of the girl's body parts every Sunday. The attractive new neighbor then develops a romantic interest in him, but she has issues and obsessions that even surpass those of Roman. Quite a few people blame "Roman" for its predictable ending but, even though I agree it's unsurprising, I didn't think it affected the film in a negative way. This film almost introduces a new type of predictability! Although you know what's coming, you still somewhat hope that things will work out positively for Roman because, despite of what he did, he's a truly likable and pitiable character. Angela Bettis constantly maintains an extremely moody and harrowing atmosphere, and the film is literally stuffed with unconventional jokes and wickedly comical situations. The wholesome actually becomes a bit disturbing, because you just know people like Roman really exist! Moreover, we all know someone in our own surrounding who rarely ever talks and always keeps a distance from the rest of the group. Makes you think what he/she does when nobody's watching, doesn't it? The camera-work as well as the editing often looks ugly and amateurish, but personally I thought even this suited the tone of the film. The soundtrack is downright sublime and McKee receives great feedback from his two bewitching female co-stars Nectar Rose and Kristen Bell. Not for everyone, but highly recommended in case you have a weakness for atmosphere-driven and genuinely moving dramas.
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