18th December (US VOD Premiere)
Hunting down the murderer of their families in an anarchic Berlin of the near future, the outlaws Tan and Javid find themselves trapped in the wicked fairytale of a mysterious screenplay that entangles them in a vicious circle of revenge - apparently all written by a clueless dentist.
Adolfo J. Kolmerer, William James
Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Alexander Wolf
Casting an eye over my notes for Snowflake, a couple of words keep recurring. ‘Tarantino’ is used 6 times. ‘Bullsh*t’ appears 5 times. ‘Half baked’ and ‘dumb’ are tied at 2 apiece. The notes themselves are even less coherent than usual, such is my barely restrained rage.
Snowflake is the kind of film that happens when someone adores Charlie Kaufman and Quentin Tarantino, but has absolutely no idea what makes their films work. Buried in this clustercuss of a film is a story about two psychopaths who rampage through a dystopian Berlin to find the person responsible for their parents’ deaths.
After one particularly pointless massacre, the two come across a screenplay that describes their horrible behaviour to a supernatural degree. Freaking out, the two hunt the budding screenwriter down to regain control of their destiny. Along the way they encounter a variety of discount-Tarantino thugs, a dashing superhero, and God.
That description may make the film sound like loopy fun, a kind of meta-textual satire of Tarantino flicks and screenwriting in general. Sadly Snowflake is nothing of the sort.
Populating the film are a noxious bunch of Tarantino cut-ups. You’ve got the stone-cold killers who discuss fast food, the charming and urbane nazi, the yokel assassins. The only ones missing are the compelling characters that you care about.
Tarantino is the master of creating well-drawn crooks. On the surface they’re cool as hell, but they have an inner life, or at least the suggestion of one. Snowflake’s characters on the other hand are all surface. Every one of them is built around the shallow mannerisms and chic psychopathy that mark the worst of post-Pulp Fiction cinema.
If one were being generous, you might argue that the sub-Tarantino ensemble is very much the point, a snarky comment on the dreadful characters that first-time writers create after binge watching Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. But for a film that features a reality-shaping screenplay, Snowflake has nothing to say about storytelling.
Instead, it’s happy to jump from one hyper-violent set-piece to another (with a dash of misogyny thrown in for good measure). The climax strains for a profound statement on revenge, but it feels completely unearned in such a scattershot and bloodthirsty film.
Perhaps this is all part of the meta commentary, but I for one don’t need a two-hour movie to illustrate how awful novice screenwriters are: I already spent four years in film school.
Some of the stylized violence does look kind of cool I suppose
Unpleasant, uninteresting characters