Burning Man Movie Review – A Cinematic Experience
Watching Burning Man is like watching someone’s memories and life through their eyes.
The movie follows Tom (Matthew Goode), a man on his way down trying to deal with a tragedy in his own gauche way, while raising his eight-year-old son, Oscar (Jack Heanly). A chef at a restaurant, Tom also gets around with the ladies, but can’t seem to form any real bond with any of them.
It’s hard to talk much more about the story without giving too much away. The way the film is filmed and edited gives you pieces/moments of Tom’s life, going back and forth between his past and present. I think the hardest part of following the film is that things are a bit out of order, which sometimes made it hard figuring out how all the pieces fit together.
At first I wasn’t too sure what to make of it, but though I soon realized that to me, Burning Man felt like experiencing the story really through the protagonist. Like a mix of memories and current experiences, which is a bit of how we experience the world. In that sense, Burning Man is a really original and engaging film. The only negative observation I have is that it felt a bit long at moments.
In terms of performances, if you’ve seen Matthew Goode in other films, then you already know how talented he is and Burning Man is another great vehicle to showcase his talent. The movie also stars Bojana Novakovic whom I hadn’t seen in anything before, but enjoyed immensely, there is something very natural in her performance and I cannot wait to see her in more films. Finally, you might recognize Rachel Griffiths from ABC’s Brother & Sisters and Essie Davis, who both round out a great cast.
As for writer/director Jonathan Teplitzky, here is a fun fact that I was unaware of when I watched the film, Burning Man is based on his own life experience, which I think explains why the whole film felt like we were watching it through the protagonist.
Overall, I wouldn’t use the word enjoy to describe my feelings about Burning Man, I don’t think it’s a film you necessarily “enjoy” like you enjoy a Summer Blockbuster, it is more of a cinematic experience and in that sense I am happy I discovered it.
So if Burning Man sounds like a film you would like to discover as well it is now available nationwide on Sundance Selects video on demand, iTunes, SundanceNOW, Amazon Streaming, XBOX Zune and PS3 Playstation Unlimited and playing at the IFC Center in New York City.
Below is the trailer for the film.
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