Battelle's offering of 'A Screaming Man' nothing to shout about

atomictown.comSeptember 20, 2012 

Battelle Film Club's third Fall Series offering is A Screaming Man -- a 2010 indie produced in the nations of Chad, France and Belgium.

Adam lives in present-day, war-torn Chad. Now 55, he's a swimming champion from the 1960s. It's his status symbol. Everyone calls him "Champ." He manages the pool at a swank hotel. It is his whole purpose in life.

Chinese investors have purchased the hotel and begin firing personnel. Some have worked there for 30 years. Adam doesn't lose his job. Instead, he's demoted to gatekeeper, while the job of operating the pool is awarded to his charismatic son.

The demoted Adam sulks. And sulks, and sulks.

Adam -- like all fathers in Chad -- have a problem. The war effort requires everyone to give something. Adam has no money. All he has is his son. Giving a son is acceptable. That leads to another crisis.

And to more sulking.

My complaint isn't that Adam's story isn't interesting. By the climax, the story is strong, intense and powerful. It's how the movie is done that slows it to a crawl. Long shots of Adam going to work, or sitting and staring, or traveling to a distant place, drag out the movie and detract from the story's power.

Instead of 92 minutes, Adam's story should be told in 62 minutes. Maybe it would move faster if he actually did scream.

Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars

Not rated but it's likely PG-13 for mature themes. It plays at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21 at the Battelle Auditorium.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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