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Film Review: 'Welcome to Marwen' First of its Kind

by Todd A. Smith

 

(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures) 

 

Never Seen Anything Like It 

 


Mark is different.


And his fictional world in “Welcome to Marwen” is so different that moviegoers probably have never seen anything like it.


Good. Let’s hope that they never see anything like “Welcome to Marwen” again.


That might be too harsh.


If so, apologies are due.


Sure, some people will love “Welcome to Marwen,” while others will hate it.


But “Welcome to Marwen” will probably produce very little middle ground or mixed feelings.


For RegalMag.com, “Welcome to Marwen” trends towards negative.


But because it goes against the Hollywood grain so much (and Regal always criticizes the formulaic Hollywood movies that constantly come out), RegalMag.com will settle for calling it average.


In “Welcome to Marwen,” Mark (Steve Carell, “Vice”) is eccentric to say the least.


He is blessed with talent, but also “cursed” with weird tendencies.


Mark has won awards for his comic book illustrations.


But the artist has also gotten bullied because of his tendencies to wear high-heeled women’s shoes.


One evening while enjoying some adult beverages at an area bar, Mark endures a brutal beating by a bunch of thugs who punish him so badly that he is lucky to escape the mauling with his life.


The thugs call Mark a queer, and beat him within an inch of his life, leaving him bloodied and lifeless on the road.


The beating is so vicious that Mark cannot even remember his life prior to the beating.


Mark cannot even write his name, let alone continue his career as an artist in the same way that he had prior to the beating.


To satisfy his creative itch though, Mark resorts to photography and action figures to tell the stories that he would tell through his drawings.


Mark creates a fictional town in Belgium called Marwen in the middle of World War II.

 

He fashions a war hero character based on himself who protects the town of Marwen from evil Nazi invaders.

 

The war hero also has a team of female companions that help him protect the town of Marwen from Nazi occupiers.

 

Unfortunately, the town of Marwen has more nemesis than just Nazi invaders.

 

The town of Marwen also has to deal with the evil spirit of a sorcerer who threatens to kill any woman that gets close to the war hero.

 

What is fascinating about the town of Marwen is that all of the women who protect the war hero are based off of the women who come to Mark’s defense after his brutal assault.

 

And Mark gets the inspiration for all of the Nazi soldiers from his attackers who have just as much hate in their hearts as the Nazis probably did in the 1930s and 1940s.

 

But despite all of the support that Mark receives from the women in his rural New York hometown, none of their love will matter if he stays wrapped up in the fictional world that he has created with his action figures.

 

Mark has to appear at a court hearing for the sentencing of his attackers. However, he does not want to attend.

 

In order for the culprits to receive the maximum sentence, Mark’s lawyer believes that he has to face his attackers and read a victim’s statement to the judge.

 

Furthermore, Mark has an art show that he is preparing for in the big city.

 

But the events that almost cost him his life make him extremely apprehensive about leaving the comforts of his own world and his own home.

 

However, Mark’s attackers will win if he allows them to negatively impact his life any further and/or prevent him from moving forward with his life.

 

Although “Welcome to Marwen” is not great, the film’s timing is great.

 

In modern American society, bullying has reached tragic levels.

 

Bullying is actually a life-threatening epidemic these days.

 

Sure, bullying someone because they are different has always existed in society to some degree.

 

But the hatred of the younger generation seems to have taken things to another level, which is extremely problematic.

 

Whether or not one has been the victim of bullying, everyone should take it seriously and shed light on how it affects people before any more people are lost to this epidemic via violence or suicide.

 

Bullying has gotten so bad that young children think that taking their own life is the only remedy to their struggle.

 

“Welcome to Marwen” will show people that they still hold the power over their life, not their enemies.

 

Therefore, “Welcome to Marwen” should become required viewing for all young people.

 

Furthermore, movie fans should see “Welcome to Marwen” because of the talented cast.

 

The film stars Carell and Janelle Monae among others.

 

But the star-studded cast is not enough to translate to something special on screen.

 

In actuality, Monae does not even get enough screen time.

 

The talented actress and singer should have been utilized more in this film.

 

But nothing is wrong with the acting performances, especially that of Carell.

 

Unfortunately, the film does not contain enough real action.

 

It just contains many scenes of a grown man playing with dolls and taking pictures of those dolls.

 

Although creating a storyline with toys and pictures is different and brilliant from an artistic standpoint, it is not enough to sustain an entire motion picture.

 

More of the movie should have dealt with the actual assault that Mark suffered at the hands of his attackers.

 

Moviegoers will get to see flashbacks.

 

But the film would have progressed better if it showed Mark’s story chronologically from the time of his success as an illustrator to the assault to his perseverance with the town of Marwen.

 

However, that probably would not go with the unique and eccentric Mark.

 

The lead character has nothing that people would describe as normal.

 

Different describes his life.

 

Different describes his personality.

 

Different describes his talent.

 

And different describes his experiences in life.

 

Therefore, a different film is necessary for such a different character.

 

And “Welcome to Marwen” is so different that it is likely that Hollywood has never produced anything like it.



REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 21 December, 2018.
Current Comments: 0
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