The Disaster Artist Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
This biographical story is funny and emotional, with an inspiring message to all who have a dream they are pursuing.
Director: James Franco
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, Hannibal Buress, Nathan Fielder, Megan Mullally and Zac Efron.
Run Time: 104 min.
US Release: 08 December 2017
UK Release: 06 December 2017
German Release: 01 February 2018
The first time I was exposed to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room was back in 2007, once I started my journalism course in England. One of my friends in University suggested I go watch it if I am interested in filmmaking, saying that although awful, it did manage to grow a small cult viewership. I was absolutely shocked when I saw it at first and started to Google search about the film and Wiseau himself, obsessed to find out how this picture could have happened in the first place, but the man himself is an absolute enigma. Until today, no one knows where he is really from or how he obtained his monetary wealth.
In 2013, Greg Sestero published his book The Disaster Artist, which this movie is based on, and shed a little more light into the personality of Tommy and the troubling shooting of The Room. Seth Rogen’s production company bought the rights to the semi-autobiographical satire and adopted it for the screen with James Franco directing and playing the lead role. This is the dramedy based on Sestero’s non-fictional work and it is entertaining from beginning to end.
Developing this movie, it could have been very easy to take Sestero’s novel and turn this into a critical satire, beating down on a man and his dreams, which had been already crushed by others. I was very happy to see that this is not the case, as Rogen and Franco handle the story of Wiseau’s directorial debut and its production problems with care and respect. While it documents the process of the making of The Room, as well as the director’s outbursts, in a comedic matter it also shines a dramatic light on it and shows an emotional side to Tommy Wiseau, as he is chasing his desire to become a true Hollywood actor. This is, in fact, a very inspirational film, with a great message about not giving up on personal dreams!
James Franco blew me away as Tommy Wiseau. He adopts the strange speech patterns and body language of this peculiar person, who came out of nowhere, perfectly. This is one of the most mysterious celebrities out there, no one knows where he is from or what is real name is and I loved the way the character is introduced to the story, as it represented exactly that. Wiseau is a difficult person to understand; I am not even sure if he fully understands himself or what he does and I, therefore, do praise Franco for doing such a fantastic job.
Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero, Tommy’s best friend and co-lead in The Room. He gives a good and believable performance and manages to capture Sestero well. The interaction and relationship between both is something I really appreciated, as it explores the true meaning of friendship and the strains such a bond goes through at times.
Franco directed a stunning looking picture, the light and colour palette used to give it a natural look, making it feel very realistic. At the end of the screening, once the credits start rolling, glimpses of some of the scenes that were recreated for this dramatic comedy are shown, and I need to give my highest regards to DP Brandon Trost because he cloned all sequences perfectly. I also want to give praise to the effect and makeup artists, who worked on James Franco, because they physically transformed him into Tommy Wiseau. The soundtrack is brilliant and there are scenes that make use of songs from that era effectively, by playing them through radio or club speakers.
Verdict: I would have never expected to see a big Hollywood production that chronicles the makings of this weird, abstract independent flick and yet here I am, talking about it. I really liked how this story was handled, not just recreating ridiculous moments of The Room, which cult followers remember but also showing the emotional tale behind the creation of the movie. James Franco is absolutely astonishing as Wiseau, managing to clone the eccentric actor to the beat and his brother Dave Franco is good as Sestero, Wiseau’s best friend, and second lead. In fact, all of the supporting cast do a quality job. The makeup used to transform Franco into Wiseau is great and the camera-work and lighting gives this biography a realistic look. All in all, The Disaster Artist is a great flick film about the making of a movie and the two people behind it. I will give it an 8 out of 10.
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