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Factotum (2005)

Factotum. Feature film. (2005, 94 mins) IMDB

...a slice of life movie free of plot complications...

I

decided to read a brief bio on the author whose novel serves as the basis for this film. In it, the bio claimed the author disliked plot but provided no reasons for his predilection. In watching this film I can see the filmmakers took it to heart in crafting this film because there isn't much of a plot. We meet a writer living his life and he lives it some more and by the end of the film he's still living his life the same way he had at the beginning. Not much of a plot but instead a slice of life.

Matt Dillon plays a writer living in a seedy part of a small mid-west city. He hasn't earned a dime from his writing but he keeps at it just as he keeps at drinking, smoking, losing jobs as quickly as he gets them and screwing women.

Everything he owns seems to fit easily into a black carry-on bag. When he's kicked out of his apartment for lack of funds, he hooks up with a woman who admires him, adores him. He stays there as long as he can tolerate it and moves on to another woman and repeats the process.

This writer lives a bleak existence with few signs of improving his lot. He likes to drink and to excess. When he wakes up one morning with a hangover, his first action is to open a bottle of beer and drink it.

I was intrigued by the plot summary I read before I watched it and what the story may tell, but once it become clear not much changes in this story I found I lost interest. The film becomes repetitive. In that respect, it's true to life, but true to life doesn't always make for an interesting story. We pretty much live our lives on a loop. Little changes even if we're convinced that's not the case. The best stories usually show a character overcoming odds to change his behaviour. The result may not be realistic, but it's hopeful and usually more interesting because we like to see change as long as we don't have to go through it.

Posted 2009/05/15 at 16h48ET in Movie Commentary.

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