Review: Bellflower (2011)

If only it were the end of the world, then I would have been spared from this waste of time!

Written By: Evan Glodell
Directed By: Evan Glodell

I give Evan Glodell all the credit in the world for his technological and mechanical imagination. The flamethrower and the cars that I know he made from scratch just for this film are impressive. However, they are impressive achievements that are completely wasted by the film. The cool car, the Medusa, is virtually a non-entity, existing only in shadowy dream sequences that are pitifully bad. The flamethrower is given much the same treatment, and that really sucked. For all his technological and mechanical imagination Mr. Glodell shows with Bellflower that his storytelling is on the level of a jilted high school sophomore.

How so many of my friends became enamored with Bellflower I’ll never know. From beginning to end and from stem to stern Bellflower is about useless wretches who would rather wallow in their own self-pity and cowardice than face the real world. At one point I’ll felt like repeatedly slapping Mr. Glodell’s character of Woodrow and screaming, “Dude, she fucked another guy, it’s over with, either forgive her and move on or hate her and move on. Either way you’re supposed to be an adult, so move the fuck on!!!” Sadly Woodrow can not move on, but it makes sense that a character who is a miscreant in the beginning of the film and still a petty loser at the end of the film wouldn’t be able to move on.

I guess the cat is out of the bag, I hated the characters in Bellflower. Every single one of them got on my nerves. The beats the characters were given also irritated me to the nth degree. I get it Mr. Glodell, you are stuck in high school and want to write out a violent revenge tale where after you massacre the women who fucked you over she returns to you on bended knee. That shit may fly in your head, but it didn’t fly in mine. Trying to mask it as a dream sequence does the film no favors, and it makes your misogyny even more glaring. At least own up to how you truly feel instead of trying to hide behind the insipid “it’s all a dream” trope. But, I shouldn’t have expected you to own up to your misogyny Mr. Glodell, and in true misgynistic fashion you didn’t.

I guess the other cat is out of the bag, I greatly disliked Bellflower. As I write this review I’m not willing to say I completely hated it. Some camera movements, and the aforementioned technological and mechanical imagination, did grab my interest and entertain me. But, the more I think about Bellflower the more I realize it is nothing more than a piece of misogynistic dreck. Not only that, it is an extremely boring piece of filmmaking. That last complaint could have been allayed had Mr. Glodell seen fit to give me characters to care about. Instead he gave me a group of scumbags through and through, characters so unlikeable that even my dark heart couldn’t find anything in them to cheer for.

Bellflower may have spent last year as an indie darling in some circles. I am not a member of any of those circles, and I was not impressed by Mr. Glodell’s brand of juvenile misogyny and nihilistic claptrap. Bellflower isn’t even all sizzle and no steak. Mr. Glodell’s film is an empty plate with nothing to offer to the viewer but a helping of vacuous nothingness. I’m upset I wasted my time with Bellflower, but I’m more upset that I had to endure such rancid misogyny for an hour and forty minutes.




4 responses to “Review: Bellflower (2011)

  1. Bill, it’s so good to read something sensible about this awful, misogynistic movie. I thought the concept sounded interesting and had heard a lot of good things, but this was my least favorite movie of 2011. Glodell may have some talent, but he wastes it on this insulting film.

  2. I was shocked in reading reviews of the film. I stuck with only the critics I usually read, and from top to bottom they all praised the film. It’s like the misogyny flew right over their heads or something. In fact, not a single one of them mentioned the misogyny and a few of them even talked up the great relationships the film portrays.

    Then there are a lot of people I know who loved the movie to. The folks at Sound on Sight for instance, or the dudes at The Golden Briefcase. In the case of Justine at SoS she even said something along the lines of there being no misogyny in the film.

    All those people whose opinions I respect and who I love to hear speak about or read talking about film and the misogyny got a pass. The critical reaction to this film simply baffled me.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I still don’t get why SoS raved about it so much. I don’t always agree with their thoughts, but I can at least understand where they’re coming from with it. There’s one scene where the other girl sleeps with the main character solely because the director thinks that guy is cool. It makes no sense and demeans here character terribly. After that, it just gets worse with all the “dream” violence. It’s just sad.

  4. The dream violence was the tipping point for me. Glodell used that as an easy out, a way to say, “Look, I’m not actually misogynistic, it was all in the guy’s head.” I find that to be horrendous filmmaking, and it was at that moment that I knew Bellflower was more than a misguided film, it was an example of terrible misogyny in film form.

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