Movie Reviews

Published on December 21st, 2018 | by Josh Aja


Welcome To Marwen

Cap’t Hogie (Steve Carell) is saved from of Nazi’s, after his plane crashed in a swamp in Belgium, by a squad women. They are able to take the beaten and battered Hogie back to their town of Marwen. Or at least that the story Mark Hogancamp (also Steve Carell) has conjured in his art installation outside his trailer home. Mark himself was found by a bartender, Wendy (Stefanie von Pfetten), after he was beaten with an inch of his life by a group of white supremacist. Hogancamp was a successful sketch artist and now can hardly write his own name. He also has little to no memory of the life before the beating. But he is still and artist and now his art lives in the dolls he uses to create a fantasy story that mirrors his real life.

The group of women dolls that seem to always save his Hogie character are all based on the women his life. There is G.I. Julie, aka Julie (Janelle Monae), his rehab partner after his accident and Roberta (Merritt Wever), the friendly neighborhood hobby story clerk. Plus there is Anna (Gwendoline Christie) nurse who brings Hogie his mail and supplies in real life and Carlala (Eiza Gonzalez) his coworker in real life. These make up the majority of his bad ass Nazi killing crew in Marwen. The newest addition is his neighbor Nicole (Leslie Mann) who he think might help him defeat the Nazi’s in Marwen for good and be a special new friend in real life. He will need both his Marwen crew and his real life friends as the sentencing for his real life attackers gets closer and his fragile mental health is pushed to a stressful breaking point.

This unique story is based on the real life of world famous photographic artist Mark Hogancamp. Mark was brutally beaten because he made a smart comment about liking to wear women’s shoes. It’s also a story of overcoming addiction and mental health issues. He turned the disaster into a passion for creating art and using fantasy to cope with tragedy.

This was a really interesting way of telling a one of a kind true story. I thought that director, Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump, Flight) used both real life and the fantasy world of Marwen to create one story. There were times when the story really didn’t flow great between the two worlds but overall was really original filmmaking. The pace and flow were a little off with the transitions. I thought the animation was exceptionally done. The story also had a bunch of topics it tackled, from mental health and memory loss to addiction but also had a good mix of humor. Carell dual performances were really well done and the supporting cast was also good. Films that are original and try new and interesting things are always worth a view in my opinion. I could see the content not really being for everyone but I thought the overall story left me feeling good.


3 out of 5

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