I Saw It On Netflix: He Was A Quiet Man

MV5BMTUzMTI3NTkzMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzUxMjU1MQ@@._V1_SX214_It other reviews the main character, Bob Maconel (played by Christian Slater) is referred to as a troubled loner. This character is more than troubled, he is psychotic. For example, he is deeply attached to one of his possessions. A Hula doll. You know the kind, they shimmy when moved, a bobble hipped doll, if you will. Anyone who is attached to one of these is probably a little crazy but otherwise OK, if the behavior stops there. For Bob Maconel it does not. He talks to his pet fish. Still, many, otherwise rational people, talk to their pets, some even talk to their plants. It’s a free country, you can talk to your underpants if you want but if they start answering you, wondering what kind of day you’ve had, for example, you may be in over your head. Bob Maconel is in over his head. If you could make one of those, `you know you’re crazy when…’ sentences to describe his fix it would be this: You know you’re crazy when even your daydreams don’t come out the way you want them too. Your daydreams, for god’s sake. Is nothing sacred?

Bob is teased and taunted by his office mates but more crushing to his ego is how easily and completely he is ignored by people in the office. He is not invisible he is non-existent. He bring a revolver to the office and plans to kill those around him. When he gets home his fish chastises him for not carrying out his plan of ‘murdering the bastards’ (to quote the fish). In his cubicle the next day he loads the revolver with trembling fingers. He drops the last shell and it rolls out under the partition. He gets down on his hands and knees to look for it and he spots it just as someone steps on it. Suddenly he hears shots being fired and pandemonium erupts. He scrambles to his feet to find that another office mate has gone on his killing rampage for him.

This borrows a plot device from a movie and short story called An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. It is carried out here to great effect. No one in this movie is given much to do. It centers completely on Bob Maconel. Christian Slater makes the most of the opportunity. From his make-up, the reddened cheeks, which make him appear both embarrassed and boiling to the point of explosion, to his fervent autistic rocking in his easy chair, he has found the inner workings of the psychotic mind and made them visible for all to see.

 

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