Film: The Obsessed
Director: Domiziano Cristopharo
Writer: Domiziano Cristopharo
Starring: Jacopo Tomassini
This was a film that I was interested in when I saw that it was going to be the midnight movie. This is a place where they really start to show messed up films, so I was excited and exhausted. It was actually the world premiere for this film coming out of Albania and actually loosely based on the stalker for the singer Bjork. The synopsis is a disturbed man obsessed with a singer descends rapidly into a grotesque madness.
There’s not actually a lot to this film. The synopsis does a great job in summing what this is about. We see the main character, Jacopo Tomassini, who isn’t given a name from my memory. He has a binder where he holds different magazines that the singer from the film is featured. He also writes letters to her, telling his feelings toward her. Interestingly though, he also has low self-esteem toward himself and believes he’s disgusting. There’s an interesting duality though, as he simultaneously wants to be with her and that no one deserves her.
What doesn’t help him is his drug addiction. He has a tin full of pills as well as heroin. There’s a gross shot of him preparing the needle to inject himself. His house is a bit in disarray with all his cats and dogs that he keeps there. He also goes around, looking through trash cans.
This really is a surreal journey as he descends into a drug induced madness, which becomes even worse when he sees a magazine where his beloved singer seems to have a boyfriend.
As I’ve alluded to, that is the crux of what this film is about. I like that I saw this at midnight when I had pretty much better the film festival all day. I didn’t know what was real or what I was actually hallucinating which definitely made me enjoy this a bit more. The story is quite basic, but seeing the different things he goes through is the point.
I want to move to the effects, because that is the best part of it. There was a lot that made me cringe for different reasons. Seeing him prepare his heroin with spit made me gag. We also see him though vomiting into a bucket which had a similar effect to me. On top of that though, the drugs he takes make him hallucinate like him becoming a cat or being approached by a different monster-like creatures as well as his body spouting a bunch of eyes. He physically harms himself and it looks all too real as well. I think how it is shot was also one of the best parts of all this.
Shifting to the pacing of this film, it is kind of hard to talk about for the reason that it is a bit repetitive. We see him go searching for things to bring home then he does drugs and goes into these different nightmares where we don’t know what is reality. I think that is works for the most part actually. You can get a feel how this is going to end early on, but it really is more about that terrifying journey of someone dealing with mental illness and using drugs to cope.
I do have to commend Tomassini. He did a solid job in his performance for sure. Some of the things that he did looked pretty realistic and his reactions seemed real as well. The woman playing the singer was quite attractive so it fits this characters obsession for sure. We also get a couple bit parts that help move this film along.
The last thing to cover would be the soundtrack. This is one of the films where is actually stood out to me, in part is that a singer is the cause of this man’s obsession. I like there’s a moment where he’s playing one of her songs and he’s mocked for it. She is quite talented and I actually thought her music sounded pretty solid. The rest of it did fit the movie for what was needed.
Now with that said, this definitely isn’t a film for everyone. It is a nightmarish fever dream that is fueled by not only obsession, but the main character’s drug use. It is kind of sad seeing someone with mental illness and not being properly helped taking the path that he does. I do think that Tomassini’s performance was good. The pacing is interesting as it is a movie that doesn’t really have a lot of story, but doesn’t need it. It actually builds tension due to seeing what he goes through. The effects are probably the best part of this and they really made me cringe. The soundtrack also fit for what was needed. Overall I’d say this is an above average film overall. Not really something I normally watch, but I’m glad that I got the chance to see it. I would only recommend this if you can handle realistic effects and like more hardcore type films.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10