Film

Film

by

ADORED: DIARY OF A MALE PORN STAR

Written and directed by Marco Filiberti

Wolfe, opens May 28, Cinema Village

A bubbleheaded gimcrack with loads of vulgarity but little skin, Adored rambles through Citizen Kane–style flashbacks to relate the life of Riki Kandinsky (director Filiberti), a fey gay porn stud who achieves mainstream fame, fights to adopt a lovable urchin, then mysteriously commits suicide. Along the way, his hetero brother (Urbano Barberini) becomes smitten with Kandinsky’s agita-prone fag hag (The Passion of the Christ‘s Satan, Rosalinda Celentano). Though the celebrity-porn-star premise might not seem so far-fetched given its provenance (the land of Cicciolina and Rocco Siffredi), the film’s witlessness keeps any satirical potential submerged well below soap opera levels. Filiberti’s self-casting exacerbates this already shoddy melodrama: Frequent come-hither stares beaming from his patently sub-marquee mug provide one too many non-ironic Zoolander moments. ED HALTER


WAKE

Written and directed by Henry LeRoy Finch

Newmark/Echelon, opens May 28, Quad

Fraught with sophomoric lost-innocence metaphors and schematic oedipal tensions, Henry LeRoy Finch’s debut feature depicts a testosterone-fueled night of reconciliation for four brothers so dissimilar, they could only be related in the mind of a screenwriter. As their mother dies upstairs, escaped con Ray (Blake Gibbons), pill-popping mental patient Kyle (Gale Harold), newly fired security guard Jack (John Winthrop Philbrick), and taciturn aspiring writer Sebastian (Dihlon McManne) hunt for their father’s life insurance payoff and assess, often at gunpoint, the traumas of the past. The whiskey flows aplenty, but the movie is all Eugene O’Neill backwash. Nepotism alert: A sullen Martin Landau (the director’s father-in-law) appears in the prologue and epilogue as an older Sebastian. BEN KENIGSBERG


YUVA

Directed by Mani Ratnam

Net Effect, in release, Loews State

Equal parts crime-story slugfest, power-to-the-people political fable, and star-crossed romance, Yuva spins a tripartite tale around familiar Bollywood obsessions, here reinfused with new life via clever use of a Pulp Fiction structure (a debt further signaled by one bloody backseat sequence). The lives of a slum thug (Abhishek Bachchan), a student activist (Ajay Devgan), and a toothy playboy (Vivek Oberoi) become fatefully entwined in a violent conflict on a Calcutta bridge. Though director Ratnam keeps this actioner running MTV-smoothly, his global pop style is both complemented and bested by composer A.R. Rahman (Lagaan, Bombay Dreams), whose electronic soundtrack grafts chunky post-hip-hop beats onto the quickly evolving sonic norms of subcontinental cinema. E.H.