By: Movie Snurb (Six Pack) –
Welcome to Marwen is based on the true story about a man who was viciously attacked one night at a bar by five guys because he admitted he liked to wear women’s shoes. He spent 40 days in the hospital and lost every memory he had prior to the attack. Through his art he finds therapy, creating a fictional village called Marwen set in Belgium in WWII and containing himself and the 5 women of Marwen who represent real women in his life who have helped him. It’s a very inspirational story and I never saw it being bungled in such a terrible way.
I’ll give it to Zemeckis- he at least shoots for the stars when he makes a film. This could be his most ambitious swing for the fences. What could’ve been a rather paint-by-numbers biopic of the incident became a sort of adventure story about an Air Force officer and the women of Marwen trying to defend their humble town from the Nazis, but it just doesn’t work. No matter how hard the cast is trying, and no one is phoning it in- everyone brings their A game, they still couldn’t fix this jumbled mess of a film.
The biggest problem of this film is hands down the script. This film is like trickle-down economics and the script is the large CEOs who are supposed to trickle down their tax breaks. Well, that doesn’t work and every moment in this film almost gets worse and worse. Face-level characters, storylines that go nowhere, and the dialogue in the mo-cap scenes is ok at best and that’s being nice.
Accurate representation of my face during the entire runtime.
I read that the original title of this film was going to be The Women of Marwen. It’s was a smart move to change it because we get to know none of them. There’s Carlata, Suzette, Roberta, GI Julie, and Anna, and later Nicol joins. At one point there is a Wendy but we don’t really get to know her either. We get to know Nicol the most, which doesn’t even payoff in the end… cool. Roberta, we get to know a little bit but only a few scenes. We only get 1 scene each with the real Anna and GI Julie, and only a couple scenes with Carlata. If these women are such an important part of his recovery and therapy then why don’t we get to know them more? It’s at this point I realized this film would’ve been better as a normal biopic.
There are a lot of moments in this film that are never touched on again or aren’t touched on enough. Who the hell is Wendy? How long were they married? Were they married after the attack or before? Why did she leave Mark? Are any of these questions answered? No. Does that stop the movie from bringing her up a lot? No. Thanks, film. Also, Nicol’s ex-boyfriend is insane, but only for a couple of scenes. He goes all Nazi on Mark and scares Mark away and that’s the end of that. It’s like having a random jump scare because the writer is lazy. We don’t get to know Mark before the attack, which is something that could’ve been good backstory to see how the attack has changed him. This is one of the messiest scripts I’ve seen in a while.
Every time this film goes into mo-cap it feels like it’s making light of the real issues Mark is dealing with. When people talk to him or Mark sees something on TV about the incident, the film slips into mo-cap to have a fake battle or whatever else. I get they’re trying to show this is how Mark dealt with his issues, but it came off as the film making light of his situations and problems.
The biggest offender of this mo-cap issue was the final scene mo-cap scene where Mark is clearly contemplating suicide. It’s an action scene riddled with jokes and meanwhile in real life Mark is in his darkest moment of his life and it’s like the film is afraid to face that fact. While I’m on this subject, I thought the entire character of Deja was clunky and annoying at best. She represents Mark’s addiction to his pain pills. However, the film decides to tell you this in the last 10 minutes even though we’ve known it all along as if Zemeckis thinks his audience is stupid. It’s unfortunate for Diane Kruger, she deserves better.
The real Mark. I’m going to watch the Documentary called “Marwencol”- heard it is much better.
What should be an inspirational film about a man who is different overcoming his brutal attack and making his life better through art and the people he loves turns into a jumbled animated mess. This cast deserves better and Zemeckis can do better. I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Welcome to Marwen (2018) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: for every shift to mo-cap.
Do a Shot: for every flashback.
Do a Shot: every time a doll dies.
Take a Drink: every time Mark has a breakdown.
Take a Drink: for every scene where Mark pulls his Jeep.