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Friday, January 7, 2011

DVD Review: FABLED (2002)

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---------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker---------


FABLED
Directed by Ari Kirschenbaum
Distributed by Indican Pictures

When I first read the DVD cover of FABLED, I was a little confused. The plot synopsis didn’t sound quite like horror…but it sure didn’t sound like your average human drama, either. It did sound interesting, though. So with no trepidation whatsoever, I sat down last night and watched it.

If you’ve never heard of this film, here is the plot courtesy of imdb.com:

Joseph just broke up with his girlfriend and is not taking it very well. He thinks she is plotting against him with their mutual psychiatrist. His dog is missing and he suspects the people at work might be behind it. Then there is the unshakable guilt over his past. It just might all be bearable, somehow possible to live through, if it weren't for those damned 'monsters' that keep trying to kill him.

First off, let me start by saying this movie is visually appealing on many levels. It is shot very well, with many unique camera angles. The aesthetic design of each set is eye-catching as well, with many of the set-pieces placed just so, at strategic points to draw your eye away from the action every now and then.

But while it is pleasing to follow with the eye, following the plot is a little more difficult. The story that unfolds on the screen is accentuated with a fable-like narrative that is told verbally by a young girl. We see Joseph fighting his withdrawal into madness, while we hear the story of Lupold, a wolf who is betrayed by a crow.

The point behind the narrated fable is to accent Joseph’s plight but in some cases it’s hard to tell what’s going on between the two stories. As crazy as it sounds though, the combination actually works well and helps to keep you guessing until the end. But even then, you are still given no concrete resolution. Instead, you must make your own conclusions as to what was happening in the story.

I enjoy movies with this type of bizarreness when they are done well, and FABLED is actually one of the better films I’ve seen in the genre. This movie pulls no punches and turns a young man’s descent into madness into a dark fairy tale of sorts. Writer/director Kirschenbaum skillfully blends the chaos of human insanity with a plausible fable that eventually ignites into a wildfire of violence.

Actor Desmond Askew does an amazing job with the main character of Joseph. I’ve never seen Askew in a film before, but I hope to see him in future projects. His emotional range is impressive and the depth to which he portrays his characters is intensely believable. Askew’s supporting cast is top-notch as well, with J. Richey Nash playing Joseph’s best friend, Alex, and Michael Panes portraying the lucid Dr. Frumkes.

For as much as I enjoyed this movie, though, I will stress that it won’t be for everyone. FABLED is a twisted trip down a warped rabbit hole. Some of us can relate to Joseph’s downward spiral as he fights off the anguish of losing his girlfriend and his dog, and tries to decide if the world really is out to get him or not. Thus, do not go into this movie hoping for a happy ending. You won’t get it, regardless of how you interpret the final scenes. But what you will get is one hell of a ride.



CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Indican Pictures

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