Inventive and Archaic Adult Fairy Tale
Coming in December from Artsploitation is Charlie Kaufman’s metafictional surreal film, “Snowflake”. It is “An ass-kicking, blood-spurting, whip-cracking, adrenaline-pumping ride” — Pop Horror.
“Hunting down the murderer of their families in an anarchic near-future Berlin, two outlaws find themselves trapped in the wicked fairy tale of a mysterious screenplay that entangles them in a vicious circle of revenge – apparently all written by a clueless dentist. In their quest for vengeance, they must contend with a myriad of wicked fairy tale assassins, madmen, a blood-covered angel, and an electric-powered superhero.”
In near future Germany, immigrants and neo-Nazis openly clash on the streets and emergency services never venture into certain neighborhoods. A robot also plays a minor role. Murder might be a common occurrence, but not for everyone.
Javid (Reza Brojerdi) and Tan (Erkan Acar) shot up the kabab shop where Eliana’s (Xenia Assenza) late parents were eating, because they are violent knuckleheads. They deserve some harsh payback, even though they are products of their savage environment. They too seek revenge for the deaths of their families, which they blame on a former security minister turned outlaw paramilitary leader—not without some justification. With the help of her family’s former bodyguard Carson (David Masterson), Eliana will hire some of Europe’s vilest assassins to cap Javid and Tan.
There will be considerable collateral damage, which nobody knows better than Arend Remmers (Alexander Schubert), the screenwriting dentist. Every violent scene he writes comes true. When Javid and Tan find an incomplete early draft, they pay him a little visit hoping to strong arm a better ending out of him, but it is hard to get around certain principles of screenwriting.
Arend Remmers, the real-life screenwriter, deserves credit for re-invigorating the Don Quixote/Pirandello-esque conceit of characters acknowledging and responding to the supposedly fictional works in which they appear. In Remmers’ screenplay[s], it is presented in a fittingly surreal and post-modern fashion, but it is never belabored, because there is additional pressing mayhem going on simultaneously, particularly that involving the film’s wildcards, Hyper Electro Man, the costumed vigilante, and Snowflake, Javid and Tan’s supposed guardian angel.
“Snowflake” is a charged revenge thriller, with many moving parts and shockingly memorable performances. A pair of murderers, their guardian angel named Snowflake, a Nazi climate boss, a woman seeking revenge, a superhero with electrical powers, and a dentist who seems to possess a script that stars all of them makes up the bizarre and vibrant cast of “Snowflake”. As the pair of murderers learn about the dentist and his script, they force him to write and rewrite the ending to their liking. Everyone is seeking revenge against everyone and they all feel like they could converge and explode at any given moment. Along the way, they meet more colorful and diabolical characters. It all makes sense in a twisted way.
At times the film feels as if it simply exists to bring on one offbeat character at you after another. The story moves between characters and storylines. This is a film about creation, failure, setting a goal, and then being able to refigure it. It’s a story not just about guns, gangsters, torture, angels, murder, and mayhem. It’s also about working through life with a plan and then being able to rewrite that plan or being a victim of your own rigidity.
But it’s also about blood and bullets and carnage. There’s a lot of that in “Snowflake”. Blood flies all over and the filmmakers make it all look beautiful. It is is a wonderful homage to word-making and bloodletting. Here is an original fairytale with some Tarantino style violence and witty humor.