If you like your movies to feel more like an art installation than anything terribly concerned with narrative flow, interesting characters, or most of the typical ingredients found in motion pictures then Playdurizm might really float your boat. I was on board for a while, myself, until the aggressive strangeness lost luster and it all felt a little like repetitive wheel-spinning to an increasingly obvious development. Still, for a while it’s a visually pleasing guessing game as to what’s going on with a unique enough lead actor.
Demir (Gem Deger) wakes up in a strange room full of purple balloons and a pet pig with no memory of how he came to be there. Once he meets Andrew (Austin Chunn) and Drew (Issy Stewart), others who perhaps live in the home, Demir feels no less confused but at least he’s not alone. Demir finds himself drawn to Andrew (to Drew’s chagrin), but Andrew seems too focused on other sexual conquests to reciprocate. Jeremy (Christopher Hugh James Adamson) and Video Store Owner (Jeff Fritz) also feature in Demir’s increasingly odd experiences, but as for who they are and their roles in the bizarre proceedings Demir’s still got some figuring out to do…
So, visually speaking Playdurizm is an interesting experience. The color scheme, set decoration, aesthetics, and really whatever else your eye passes over all manages to convey a uniquely odd world removed from reality. I’d almost go as far as calling it a visual feast, except the limited amount of sets becomes obvious with each passing scene so while it does make an impression at first the more time spent in these few locations dampens the impact over time. I’ll settle on calling it a visual brunch, instead. I’d be curious how writer/director/star Gem Deger could do with a solid budget that’d bump up what could be done with sets and maybe even some outdoor locations!
The cast are a mixed bunch, but Gem Deger manages to make an impression and since everyone else is secondary to him Playdurizm doesn’t lose much from just an adequate supporting team. I also found the music an effective companion to everything happening on screen, which might sound easy enough but I imagine it wasn’t terribly easy finding the right tone to go with the atypical everything else. Oh, and say the title out loud a couple times if seeing it written doesn’t ring any bells.
As for the subject matter, I’m not going to spill the beans on the weird/gross/unpleasant/taboo stuff you’re in for should you sit down to Playdurizm for a viewing but keep in mind there’s a great chance you’ll be made to feel uncomfortable and put-off. If you’re one who needs to know exactly what to expect from a movie and how you’ll be made to feel about it before watching then Playdurizm probably isn’t for you. Frankly, at a certain point it felt like it was trying a little hard to be shocking and outside-the-box. After a while of feeling like I’m trying to be provoked it comes across as trite and I get a little bored.
Overall I don’t think I’d say I enjoyed Playdurizm, exactly, but I guess on some level I respect it for going down its own path and I won’t forget much of it anytime soon so that has to count for something.
7 out of 10 Visual Brunches