Review: ‘Charlie Casanova’

A film about an intolerable man who does intolerable things to while pontificating for intolerably long periods.

A film about an intolerable man who does intolerable things to his friends while pontificating for intolerably long periods, Terry McMahon’s “Charlie Casanova” is a punishing experience. Billed as the first feature conceived entirely via Facebook, this Irish production posits its sociopathic protagonist as a potent symbol for the corruption and self-interest of the contemporary executive class, but it’s wrong; he’s just an asshole. Commercial prospects are slim.

Given to long diatribes and voiceovers that could have been written by a disturbed 14-year-old after reading Nietzsche’s Wikipedia page, Charlie (Emmett J. Scanlan) is a smartly dressed, mustachioed boor attending a business conference with his wife and friends. After accidentally hitting a pedestrian in his car, Charlie impulsively decides to leave all his life decisions up to the result of a draw of cards. This mostly entails being even more irritating than usual, committing an odd murder or two, and doing a five-minute open-mic standup routine on his hatred of the working class that borders on audience abuse. Gritty, low-budget tech specs add another jagged edge to this aggressively abrasive feature.

Charlie Casanova

Ireland

Production

A Source Prods. presentation. Produced by Terry McMahon, Pavlina Hatoupis. Directed, written by Terry McMahon.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Eoin MacKen; editor, Tony Stearns; music, Marc Ivan O'Gorman. Reviewed at SXSW (competing), March 14, 2011. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Emmett J. Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Damien Hannaway, Ruth McIntyre, Tony Murphy, Valeria Bandino, Johnny Elliott.

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