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Decomposing Tony Maslow (2009)
Decomposing Tony Maslow is a Sinister Delight!
I recently had the pleasure of seeing the world premiere screening of "Decomposing Tony Maslow," in the Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios, on September 14, 2010. At 92 minutes running time, this film is listed under the genres of drama, mystery and thriller. However, I spent the first 30 minutes of the film laughing in almost every scene. This film was funny! Then, it turns dark, in a very sudden and almost jarring manner. Suddenly the viewer is plunged into the full mystery and thrill of this wonderful story.
Tony Maslow (played by David O'Donnell) is a ghostwriter, who, after a heart-wrenching break up with his girlfriend, is stricken with a terrible bout of writer's block. His agent, Phil (played by Ryan Matthew Bollman) is desperate to help Tony produce pages by deadline, and rents a fully furnished house for Tony to work in, complete with a caretaker, in the hopes that this will solve Tony's plight. The caretaker, Arthur (played by Micci Toliver) quickly gets Maslow settled into the house and leaves.
Tony Maslow is played by the wonderfully talented David O'Donnell, who brings such life to the character, you truly feel Maslow's pain. O'Donnell's incredible comedic delivery of scenes where Maslow continues to be stricken by writer's block is hilarious. His endless pacing, playing with random objects, throwing a ball and staring at his laptop, while drinking glass after glass of Haitian rum is so funny, the entire audience was cackling. The entire comedy routine comes to a crescendo as Maslow lays on the floor of his kitchen, drunkenly leaving long messages on his ex-girlfriend's answering machine.
Then suddenly, laughter gives way to intrigue, as the story takes a turn. The entire film is carried by scenes alternating mainly between Tony Maslow and Phil the agent, with a few other characters coming on and off throughout. The main theme of this movie is that nothing and no one is as it would seem. Characters are finally revealed in their full disposition and motive, and no one can guess what the truth really is.
This film truly delivered a good mystery. Just when you think you know a character, they surprise you.. Up until the very end, you never know who is really dead, who is alive, what is a dream or what is real. One can only guess as to what has truly taken place, and the ride is both uncomfortable and thrilling.
This film, directed by Sacha Parisot, was a total delight to watch. Rendered in a masterful way by a director who clearly has a firm handle on how to build a mystery, Sacha Parisot knows how to tell a good story. Parisot co-wrote the script for this film along with Michael Phillip Edwards, and the story was told in beautiful undertones conveying the true agony and ecstasy of the art of writing.
Plain and simple, Decomposing Tony Maslow was a thrill to watch. It was highly entertaining. This film will make you laugh, cringe, sink down in your seat, and keep you guessing all the way up until the very end. Parisot really knows how to deliver a good mystery thriller.