Pickups is a strange indie film which brands itself as a black comedy cum thriller. Movies about serial killers—or actors about to play one in this case—need to be gently handled in order to create an effect which shocks. Silence of the Lambs is superb in showing how unhinged a seemingly normal person can behave. Whatever Anthony Hopkins did to prepare, it earned him unanimous praise.
In the case of this work starring Aidan Gillen (of Game of Thrones fame), the product is outworldly. At times, it’s like watching a descriptive video for the blind. This actor playing an actor who got a role of being a murderer is terrific at conveying a sense of normalcy despite having a condition. He’s an insomniac. To keep his sanity afloat, he becomes more and more like the character he will soon play. I wanted to know more about this film, but sadly, when it gets referenced, the lines of cinematic reality is too blurred.
This movie meanders in its narrative. None of the plot threads feel really tight. This work is very low-fi in its design. The narrative asks questions about why some people become performers. Are they escaping one reality in favor for the imagined? When considering the actor is failing badly at trying to reconnect with his son, this plot point feels irrelevant. Can the Aiden call home to tell Mama he just killed a man? He never pulled any triggers from real weapons but to see him carry on, especially after drowning a female friend in a bowl of cereal is either sardonic or mocking. He gives in to demons who are not always understood.
When considering the nameless narrator is not that grim voice guiding his actions, this work has no accountability. I have the feeling he wants to be a predator, but Dracula he is not. Instead, he’s a Renfield. He sees himself as part if the food chain, and tries to position himself higher up so he can survive. Movies about the abnormal are more challenging to understand. The next time I see this work again, I better have David Lynch with me. He should be able to explain this work to me when I don’t have absinthe nearby to put me into silent lucidity.
3 Stars out of 5
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