Solitude on Demand (2015)
Directed by Luca Zambianchi
Starring Gianfranco Boattini and James Foschi
Should Have Stayed In Solitude
By Mason Manuel
Back in the baby days of RDR (Does being alive for a few months mean we are out of baby days?) I reviewed an excellent short film called B.L.T. There were no flashy effects but there was a stimulating philosophic conversation between two men. They simply sat on a street curb and talked but the dialogue was so engrossing that the film felt special. Solitude on Demand attempts to capture the same magic taking a simplistic setting, and filling it with two men of polarizing ideas. Buuuuuut this one misses the mark.
Solitude on Demand focuses on a random business man sick of the modern world being full of 24/7 interaction. Social media, e-mails, phone calls; to hell with all of it. So like any totally normal person would do, he goes in search of solitude on a random hill. Only solitude needs to be capitalized because its not a thing – it’s a person. Or rather, a God of sorts. An 80’s type dressing, please-don’t-sue-me disclaimer card reading, vaping… God. It’s as bizarre as it sounds. Solitude (as that is his name) criticizes the man for seeking him and being disappointed with what he finds whereas the business man is mad that he has any need to seek (S)solitude at all. It’s an interesting premise that could have been really cool in the hands of a experienced director and actors but these two men along with director Luca Zambianchi feel like a couple of guys who found a nice camera and a funny suit.
One thing the film does have going for it is its humor. Despite my problems with the production, there were a number of times I found myself laughing hysterically at the weird places these two men take themselves. A God who has a lawyer, a guy who wants solitude but not without a TV; it’s bizarre but not always without merit. Sadly, that’s where my positives end. The simplistic setting is just that: simple. I eventually became bored just seeing these two hang out on a random grassy knoll. Aside from a few cool establishing shots, I never found myself wowed. The actors themselves are unremarkable but Gianfranco Boattini as Solitude at least appears to make an effort and is the source for most of the laughs. Low budget indie films are tough to pull off but even the smallest crew can pull of something fantastic with enough talent and this film simply does not show that. RDR gives it a 4 out of 10.