Fay Grim Reviews
*Takes a deep breath*.
I thank God because He made me objective and analytical in my film appreciation.
Let's.... dissect this mutant of a film.
Hartley is courageous. When there is a very risky project at hand, if you take it, you either win a lot or lose a lot. There are hardly gray areas in those cases. What Hartley wanted to achieve was a twist so unexpected that even close followers or Henry Fool fans would be surprised in the same way that Miike fans were not ready for something like Visitor Q or Happiness of the Katakuris. What if most of, if not everything that Henry Fool claimed to have done in the past movie turned out to be true? This plot unfolds.
Watching Fay Grim is like witnessing an imaginary, fictional "what-if" alternate reality in which the characters that were so much profoundly dissected and analyzed from their most hidden and rotten layers of personality take whole new, unrelated and implausible roles. The result is the cheapest excuse available: an international espionage drivel.
The reason that puts so many fans off is precisely such cheap turn of events. I don't. For once, I struggled, but succeeded at adapting an open mentality while repeating to myself: "This is a director taking risky chances with unexpected twists. Don't give up. You like that. You missed watching something like this."
But then the movie kept progressing, and not only was I completely uninterested at the plot elements and horrified with the poorly done technical qualities during the "action" scenes, but also I couldn't relate to the characters I had known beforehand so intimately. I felt betrayed and mocked. It didn't even achieve to be a quality action film or a smart comedic spoof. No. It was a pretentious and shallow plot-twist show.
So, I have a final question for Hal Hartley, if I may: What was the inconvenience of making Fay Grim as an independent film, completely unrelated with the characters? What were the aspects, either artistic or creative, that forced Fay Grim to become a poorly done and embarrassingly humorous vehicle of parody improvisations that forced its plot connections with the past film through ridiculous premises? This is not a sequel to Henry Fool. It's fucking Twilight Zone. It's a dream. It's a dream that Henry had in the previous film while being drunk and passing out in an outtake. Yes. That's gotta be it.
That's gotta be it, dammit!
Fans of Henry Fool will not be disappointed, especially with the revelations that cast light on key, but unexplained, elements of the original.