Thursday, September 16, 2021

When I'm A Moth Review: Some Beautiful Cinematography But Not A Bright Enough Flame

Release date: August, 27, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed By: Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak
Starring: Addison Timlin, 

From acclaimed filmmakers Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak, and starring Addison Timlin as Hillary Clinton, WHEN I’M A MOTH’s “what if…” scenario sees a young Hillary working as a fish monger in Alaska.  Possibly an un-biopic of Hillary Rodham set in 1969 Alaska. Possibly a collective dream about a young woman with only the most abstract connection to the politician. Possibly both.

When I'm A Moth is a strange film, and one that seems only vaguely grounded in reality.  The film looks at an alternate scenario where Hillary Clinton lived in Alaska and befriended two quiet Japanese men while working at a fish mill.  The film does have some good cinematography as the Alaskan wilderness is beautifully shown and the isolated nature of the work and the geography are brought to life.  This what if scenario also has a dreamlike quality to it as the film often has aspects that seem dreamlike, from some strange camera tricks to make the lens unfocused at times to a haunting, dreamlike soundtrack.  The film also has some very good low light scenes and beautiful camera work as this strange situation is depicted.  And the film also shows some of the brutality of the job as it  shows seemingly realistic depictions of fish being gutted.  

However, the film does not seem to really have much drive or purpose.  The dialogue often seems like it is form a play, with deliberate lines that can sometimes seem random.  I understood where they were coming from sometimes, but other times it just seemed like random lines form some eclectic characters.  And like a play, the film is slow with long scenes that often involve this awkward, disjointed dialogue.  The movie does not seem to really get its central point across to the audience, or if it is in there it requires a lot of work to really dissect it.  Much like the fish that our unbio protagonist guts, the film requires the audience to do the work of finding out what it is going for.  And in the end we are left with more questions than answers.  At least Addison Timlin's performance as Hillary is good, with an awkward, confident character that fits the protagonist but seems strange given the scenario. 

When I'm A Moth tells a dreamlike, alternate reality story but the lack of drive and playlike dialogue does not make this film a bright enough flame to draw viewers to.

Pass on it.

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When I'm A Moth is available digitally and on demand on August 27, 2021.  

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