My Friend Dahmer Reviews
Having read the graphic novel this movie is based on, I came into it with my own biases and expectations, so a lot of my problems with this movie stem from that.
While the casting and raw content of this movie are very competent and fitting, they way they were set to motion through Dahmer's story was a bit lackluster. Too many times it felt like the movie died down to a dry "we gotta have this moment here" scene that was acted out kind of lifelessly, and fit into the movie very rigidly. A sort of check-list feeling was created by these scenes. It felt like a major issue was the editing of all the content together. It rarely meshed well, even though it technically followed the graphic novel pretty accurately.
Another issue that held this movie back, in my opinion, was the lack of any sort of narrations or input from John Backderf's character in this movie. I mean the title is from John's point of view, and the entire graphic novel is filled with his thoughts and words to guide us along. Fitting narration could've done much to help this movie mesh better with itself, would've helped it flow better, feel more natural as a tale from John's point of view. His character in this movie would benefit the entire project much more had it been more fleshed out, and more prominent. As this movie stands right now, it feels a little hollow.
Other than that, and some other slight changes to the novel which didn't bother me that much, the movie was fine for what it achieved at the end. The acting by the main guy was great, felt like the nuances of a teenage Dahmer were shown realistically and faithfully. Good job by him.
The things I liked the most about this movie were the occasional moments of painful brilliance like during the mall freakout scene and the photo "adjustment" scene. Those moments managed to convey the entire thesis of Backderf's tale in those small moments. It felt good to see that message of the original graphic novel left intact.
Overall, I enjoyed it.
I didn't know about Jeffrey Dahmer until I stumbled upon this movie. Though it left out the horrid killings since it centred mostly on events leading to him being the criminal that he was, the movie certainly gave me a lot of eye-covering moments.