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MVFF Review: Interwoven

MVFFHow bad can a film be to reach cult status? Watching “Interwoven,” I wondered how many people will invite friends over to embrace is complete bat-shit craziness. There were moments where I had to rewind because I couldn’t believe what just happened. It’s bonkers, sure, but it fails to go all the way. There’s a level of insanity that’s missing, one preventing it from catapulting into midnight screening territory.

“Interwoven” attempts to tell 15 (true) tales of people who have lost something in life, all in 87 minutes. It juggles so much that characters introduced in the beginning simply disappear halfway through the film. One of the opening scenes shows two Indian brothers cooking lunch, debating as to who is the better chef. Simultaneously, a woman in some apartment is SOFTLY playing the violin. One of the Indian brothers receives a call, and has to leave. The next scene, he’s knocking on the woman’s door demanding rent and claiming that neighbors are complaining about the noise. After some back-and-forth, the woman escapes through her fire exit. She is next seen playing in the street, where an elderly woman watches, weeping, where we are subjected to a flashback of the old woman – now young – being told by her father that he has cancer. Back to present day, and the elderly woman throws a dollar in the case, which the musician hands to a homeless man later.

We never see the brothers, the musician, nor the elderly woman ever again in the film.

That homeless man, though, is a prominent character in the film.I imagine audiences cheering with every voice-over he provides. Some of his wisdom includes:

“I was good at that – we all are. Telling ourselves everything will be okay, that it will be the last time, I promise, but deep down, we know otherwise” All while a young man is drinking at a bar.

“My dad used to say opportunity makes us thieves. But I believe stealing does. And when you get caught it’s always the same questions: Why me? Sometimes you are your own worst enemy”

“We all play a part, and you never really know how small or large your part will turn out to be”

As the man from the bar argues with his girlfriend: “Funny how honeymoon always ends – for better or for worse. Ain’t that a fact. In sickness and in health. Til death.”

When the homeless man is asked for directions at a bus stop: “Hell, we’re all lost, brother”

Finally, the last scene: “all these little moments, tiny actions that we overlook now but later regret, propel us along, creating an interesting tapestry of our loves. but once in a while, we get a chance to make a difference, even small ones. but i learned, in order for it to work, you’ve got to have faith that all this, everything, everyone is connected. for better or for worse. that’s up to us, our choice to make. i mean, isn’t that what it’s all about?”

This homeless man turns out to be the ex-husband of Mo’nique, who caught him cheating one afternoon. In flashbacks, we see the two at the doctor’s office, where the doctor talks privately to Mo’nique, revealing he’s aware that she is poisoning her husband and the police are being contacted. I don’t think that’s proper protocol. But what do I know? Doesn’t matter though, because this is never brought up again.

We find out that Mo’nique is a borderline alcoholic, and in distress, is drinking while driving and hilariously hits a dog. She panics about this, and neighbors emerge, but lo and behold, we transition to another story abruptly and the dog is never brought up again.

Mo’nique is an operator at a suicide prevention center, and one night, the young man from the bar (who was cheating on his girlfriend, so she left him), calls to state he’s going to commit suicide. At this moment, I could relate to his urge to end it all. Proving to be the worst operator, Mo’nique downs some booze before telling the guy to end it all. It’s all pretty wonderful.

If you haven’t figured out, these lives are….INTERWOVEN.

Poor Mo’nique. She really does deserve better than this dreck.

I’m leaving out some other stories as well, such as an asshole employee who bonds with a women over deaths in their family, so he brings her some food so they can perform some ceremony for the dead or something. It’s all pretty unremarkable.

Just because these are true stories doesn’t mean it’s good cinema. There’s so much going on, we can’t connect with anything. I watched the behind-the-scenes of this film, and all the actors claimed it was powerful because “it has happened to all of us.” That’s bullshit storytelling, and it’s lazy. People who have spoken with a family member about their cancer aren’t going to be moved by a three minute moment between a daughter and her father. They’re more likely going to be offended. Writer/Director V.W. Schiech (I really hope it stands for Volkswagen Schiech) doesn’t grasp the notion of an “earned moment.” There’s not one true second in the entire 87 minutes. The film tries so hard to be profound that it never established a proper rhythm, relying on half-baked ideas of characters and situations, ending in nothing more than an empty shell.

If you do see this, stay for the post-credit sequence. You’ll get one more good belly-laugh out of it.

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I never stand in front of the elevator doors when they open. All because of the movie The Departed.

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