Joining the unfavourable company of projects that were so keen on exploring an idea that you forget to tell a solid story, Velvet Buzzsaw turned out to be more of a buzzkill than anything velvety. Much of the force which was behind 2014’s ‘Nightcrawler’ have some sort of reunion for it, including director and writer Dan Gilroy. The movie is self-described as satirical horror focusing on kooky art scene and its possible commercialisation and while that does sound fun, there’s just too much of everything. In a feature length, when you spend so much time writing fools into bigger fools, you just end up fooling yourself. Eye for an eye, you could say.
Even for a film about art industry and things related to that, the featured visuals are honestly something you’d expect to see in modern galleries. Paintings that the story revolves around are interesting and moody while there is also specifically one art piece called Sphere which is both amusing and serves a purpose later on. It’s just too bad that the represented art is the only unique thing offered as the film as a whole lacks bite and passion. A lot of it is revealed through clumsy dialogue but the satire is dire, horror elements are shamefully boring and there isn’t a single character you feel invested in whether in good or bad way.
Velvet Buzzsaw is saying absolutely nothing by using a lot of words but more so it’s amazing how technically woeful it is considering the talent behind it. Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’ score doesn’t fit the film at all, horror scenes start to sound like a telenovela at some point. Editing of it all feels incoherent because the cuts are abrupt again and again, making you think that maybe there weren’t enough good takes to choose from. That causes conversations to seem unnatural, almost like a quick Youtube tutorial where no breaths are allowed. Those moments can not be saved even by compelling cast which includes Jake Gyllenhaal (Morf), Rene Russo (Rhodora), Zane Ashton (Josephina) and Toni Collette (Gretchen). Ashton is basically thrown to the wolves here as she seems to be directed to purely in a thriller while Collette is the most in tune with the attempted tone.
Smileys: Set decoration
Frowneys: Editing, dialogue, Zawe Ashton, score
It’s certainly a movie, I just don’t know why it is one.