Tuesday, September 5, 2017
"Buster's Mal Heart" Review by Tim Hellman
'BUSTER'S MAL HEART': Four Stars (Out of Five)
An indie mystery about a mentally unstable mountain man, and former family man, who now survives by breaking into empty vacation homes, while he constantly warns others (on talk radio) about an upcoming 'Inversion' at the change of the millennium. It was written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, and it stars Rami Malek (in his first starring film role), Toby Huss, Kate Lyn Sheil and DJ Qualls. The movie had it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it's received mostly positive reviews from critics. I found it to be bizarrely interesting, and for the most part pretty well made, but it also left things just a little too unexplained for my tastes.
The film opens with a mountain man, Buster (Malek), desperately trying to escape the authorities that are chasing him. He makes it to the top of a mountain, where the film then flashes back to his past as a family man, with a wife (Sheil) and daughter (Sukha Belle Potter). He also recollects on his time breaking into empty vacation homes, and calling into radio shows ranting about an upcoming 'Inversion' (at the turn of the millennium). Buster also has multiple visions of being lost at sea. As a viewer we have to interpret what's real, what isn't, and when and where it's all taking place.
The film is definitely bizarre and interesting, and I was always curious of where it was leading to. I think the acting is good in the film (especially Malek in the lead) and Smith is obviously a very talented filmmaker. I was just hoping for a little more from the conclusion. I don't need everything explained to me in a film, but I don't like everything to be left a question mark either. I'm sure some viewers will think they understand it, but I think most of the film is entirely left up to individual interpretation. If you like that type of movie you'll probably love it, I'm not a huge fan of the genre though.