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Posted on 7/26/13 06:07 PM
The road movie, Motorama, scripted by Joseph Minion (After Hours), is a symbolic journey through life. Our guide (and symbolic substitute) is ten-year-old Gus, played with assured competence by Jordan Christopher Michael. Gus escapes his ugly home life by stealing his dad's candy apple red Mustang and hits the road.
When he comes to a filling station we become aware of the strange and dream-like quality of the movie. A large sign above the gas station exclaims, "Be Ful-filled" and its attendant is Phil. Phil is flying a kite (tied off to a ceramic deer) while waiting to fill up cars that pull in. On the kite Phil has taped a photograph of him shaking hands with the local law officer and explains that he wants Him to see it up there, but fears that his kite string isn't long enough to get Him to see it.
It becomes evident that he is referring to God and that this movie isn't like many others. It also becomes evident that this will be an allegorical movie and being such, requires a reading as one interprets their dreams.
After learning about an old game called Motorama and that the grand prize is 500 million dollars, Gus desires to play and collect all of the Motorama cards. But when the law officer drives up to the station, Gus takes advantage of the distraction and steals a box of Motorama cards. This sends him on a symbolic road to hell and much of the rest of the film shows various stages and hellish encounters which test him in classical mythic tradition. We see the law officer as the Law and the cards compulsively collected as Desire, once eagerly sought after, become negligible once familiar.
There are many great cameo appearances by cult actors and actresses that film buffs will appreciate. The tone of Motorama bounces between dark, serious and whimsical camp (Jack Nance has an amusing part), but this is not a kid's movie. It grows episodic as Gus drives from filling station to filling station and meets various characters, but if you're interested in movies that aren't restricted by the usual Hollywood representation of 'reality' then you will enjoy the ride. We don't ask our dreams to be realistic, yet some reviewers of this film apparently assume that movies act real. For me, it's right up my alley. In the end we return to the point where Gus had a choice to make and his choice to become fulfilled.