Monday, November 17, 2008


I am about due for a quirky movie review. Delirious is an enjoyably quirky movie that was released in 2006 and managed to fly under the radar. I don’t remember seeing this movie advertised. With Steve Buscemi heading up the cast, I would have definitely been interested in this film from the outset. If you are into quirky, then Delirious is a film you may want to add to your Netflix queue.

Delirious begins with a homeless man, Toby Grace (Michael Pitt), uncovering himself from plastic and cardboard atop a heap of trash in a construction grade trash bin. Grace wears tattered clothes and appears unkempt, but he has a charming look in spite of his obvious struggles. Grace walks up on the paparazzi who are waiting outside an establishment to catch a glimpse of the latest big pop star, K’Harma (Alison Lohman). Among the paparazzi is a struggling photographer named Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) whose hair is an oddly black color…very black…and thin. It is cold and Galantine craves a cup of coffee. He and the other paparazzi send Grace to get them a cup of coffee. As Grace is returning, he is stopped at a side entrance by the manager who is accompanied by K’Harma and her boyfriend. Grace advises them that the paparazzi are not looking, so that they can get to their waiting car without obstruction. As K’Harma passes Grace a sense of familiarity or chemistry seems to fill the air.

The paparazzi come crowding the departing car, spilling coffee everywhere. Grace ends up following Galantine home under the guise of returning his change from the coffee. Galantine ends up offering Grace a place to stay in exchange for his work as an assistant. Grace agrees and the two develop and interesting relationship. Galantine is consumed by his work and considers his profession to be legitimate. Grace and Galantine have a symbiotic relationship with both benefiting from the other in a variety of ways. As Grace uses the opportunities provided to him by Galantine to secure his own acting career, he leaves Galantine behind. The strained relationship is tested as the two go their separate ways. Several other relationships are explored in this film developing various aspects of the personalities of our two male leads. The characters are flawed and unique, giving them a candid likeability that helps create the drama that makes this comedy drama work.

The Writer/Director Tom DiCillo did an excellent job of creating a script that pokes fun at Hollywood and the paparazzi while delivering sharp and witty dialogue that provides great comic relief. The strength of this movie lies in the development of the characters. By creating characters that are quirky and flawed, DiCillo makes them relevant. The interpersonal relationships that are explored possess a realistic feel that manages to connect with the audience. The major theme of this film spoofs Hollywood and the paparazzi. The story does not tie up all the loose ends, but nicely packages the ending so that you don’t feel cheated, either. The sub-plots are exceptional, providing insight into the background and identity of the major characters. There are several parallels drawn between a wannabe photographer, a music superstar and a homeless guy. The unique backgrounds of these individuals and the commonalities make for an interesting insight into human nature. The characters also have a diversity that creates good opportunities for both comedy and drama, simultaneously. The intelligence of the writing is evident.

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