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VARMiNT (2012)

| Short, Comedy
Pitting innocent youth against the harsh practicalities of adulthood, VARMINT is a unique coming-of-age story where comedy and deep heartbreak ensue.


2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Ian Hamrick ...
Chase Ford ...
Mason Ford ...
Farmer Wife


Pitting innocent youth against the harsh practicalities of adulthood, VARMINT is a unique coming-of-age story where comedy and deep heartbreak ensue. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Comedy



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2.35 : 1
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Principle photography took 6 days. See more »


Lonesome Town
Written by Baker Knight (uncredited)
Performed by Ricky Nelson
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Overly long and a bit broad in making its point (MAJOR SPOILERS)
26 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There is a brave and interesting film inside VARMiNT, but I'm not sure that it ever really nails it, even though it takes its sweet time to do so. In rural America, a feral boy runs wild in the fields, sleeping rough and occasionally chased off by other boys who live in the farms. On one of the farms a young boy lives who is the bane of his father's life as he sees his son as too childish for his age. An interaction with the feral boy sees that change, as in a small way he moves from boyhood innocence towards adulthood.

This plot summary gives you the broad idea of what the film is aiming for, and in many ways it is successful, but not in all. The plot encourages us to see a feral boy, but in this world (where father/son dress in identical "good ol' boy" clothing) the feral boy is a varmint – a creature to be killed rather than a human. It happens that the boy is a ginger, which put me in mind of the MIA video where white people with red hair are rounded up and killed – a helpful thought in this case. As the film progresses we are sucked into seeing this feral boy as a boy, so when he is battered to death in the yard as a varmint, then it is shocking and the impact on the other boy is to see the cruelty.

I guess from there we are supposed to go full circle and think that ultimately "man" does treat others like this, and then to consider why different lives are assigned different value – not creatures who are varmints, but whole peoples seen or treated as lesser simply based on where they were born. It maybe helped this aspect of the film that I was thinking of the MIA video making the same point with juxtaposition, or also that I watched this in the wake of the massacre of 130+ children at a Pakistani school. Unfortunately I do not think the film made this point well enough itself, because it does wander somewhat, and the tone is a bit off (including the feral boy surviving at the end, which I didn't understand in context of the film).

Technically it is very well done; it has that beautifully golden and rich look of the countryside, which helps with the feel of fantasy to the film; likewise sound and camera work is excellent throughout. It is just needing a bit tighter aim and agenda – it runs too long for the point it takes the viewer to, and it really doesn't take us to one place strongly enough, even though some of the content is shocking.

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