This was a rough film to watch. Not from the harsh themes that were being broadcast from this film, but from the overall development of the movie. Nothing was professional. This film had the feeling as if it was completed in the course of a couple of days. It seemed as if the director had the money, but chose to do no editing, really grainy effects, and to ensure that the voice dubbing process was not synchronized. It seemed as if the director was rushed to finish this product and ultimately it showed. You remember in school when your parents were always angry when you had a week to do a project and you found yourself finally starting it the night before it was due? Well, that was the overall feel of Johnny Greyeyes. There was this feeling that the director had the image, had the ability, but found that by rushing to finish he could have a classic "gay and lesbian" film to place in the theaters.
I was very disappointed in this film. Nothing meshed, nothing matched, and there was nothing connecting any points together. I was able, due to logic and a college education, to connect some of the structure so that I could see exactly the direction that everyone was headed, but without either of these two helpers, this film would have been lost. Lasting only about 75 minutes, the director Jorge Manzano tried to cram every dark element that he could into such a short span that instead of powerful film-making, what was created was a rushed finished product. I hated the way that Manzano tried to incorporate the bustle of the city into a correlation on how the prison system functions. It was like grabbing at string to save your life. Without these snippets of the "real" world Manzano would have had a twenty-minute long film, and perhaps that would have been better. Jeesh, Johnny Greyeyes was horrible.
The acting was some of the worst that I have ever seen. The characters were so underdeveloped that I thought I saw a stagehand walk on and become a part of the scene just for fun. I had no clue who most of the characters were. This is not a good way to start the film. Random characters from the prison just seemed to run into a scene, speak some form of prophecy, then run out never to be seen again. Even Johnny's brother didn't make any sense. I felt no emotion for anyone in this picture because there wasn't enough time to get to know them. This film asked you to open your heart and find a sympathetic chord for the characters, but did not give you enough time to do it. I think Manzano wanted to create a film that shocked people and had them gasping for air. I would say that he accomplished this goal, but not in the way he was hoping. I was gasping for air at the end of this film, but not from sheer enjoyment. Instead, I suggest that most rent an oxygen tank to finish this film, without it, you may suffocate.
I have to stop writing about this review now because my air is about to run out. Please, whatever you do, if you ever find yourself in a fight, use this film as a weapon. It will stop anyone cold in their tracks!
Grade: * out of *****
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