Bad People is a dark comedy feature film that begs us to laugh at the absurdity that is all around us: crack smoking politicians, prostitutes turned reality stars, religious charlatans, sex-obsessed online dating, elitist parents, infidelity, and political correctness. Told through the lens of several short stories, the film examines the hysterical dark side that permeates our society today.
A few months ago, I was granted access to watch the film BAD PEOPLE before its official release, and finally I have the opportunity to provide my thoughts about this provocative and rather unconventional film. I will caution anyone who does not like having sex, profanity, or general debauchery featured in their entertainment selections to consider avoiding this film, but I will tell you there are no overly graphic scenes that are exceedingly disturbing. The intended audience is definitely older teens and up, and it is not family-friendly. That being said, I was not unreasonably bothered by what I saw and heard on-screen. This is dark humor as well, and that may not appeal to everyone. I will discuss this all in greater detail within the review, but I merely wanted to warn my readers up front about any content concerns.
As the film is broken into several different pieces, it’s almost like watching independent stories in one film that center around one overarching theme. All too often in today’s culture, “bad people” get away with doing “bad things,” or at least, it seems that way. Why do things the right way after all? In a culture where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, why not use every opportunity to get ahead, right?
One of the first stories we see is that of two “thugs” who are supposed to knock off some other guy. Their boss has somewhat explained the appearance of their intended victim, and they happen upon this hapless character.
Here, the dark comedy revolves around speaking correct English and even political correctness. I found myself chuckling at the script and the expert way it was delivered in this scene in spite of the inevitability of doom facing this character. Being politically correct is something that, in my opinion, has gone so far to the extreme that every time I open my mouth, I’m certain I’m bound to offend someone albeit unintentionally. I won’t spoil the end of this tale, but just know that in every anecdote, there is a bit of a surprise ending–something that in a quirky way makes the film work.
Two best friends discussing their sexual conquests–or lack thereof.
Our surfer girl doesn’t need a man in her life. But her friend does convince her to at least give the guy a try.
Enter relationship troubles that always come with couples who live together and are not interested in making a relationship work–sex is the only mutually beneficial thing about it. And off they go to make life a living hell for the other.
In one sense, this chronicle was one where it seemed that everyone got their due a little bit more, but then again, I wonder. The conclusion was a bit jarring, but I’ll leave it to the viewer to decide if the consequences fit the crime (or was there even a crime committed?).
And from here, we move onto what is in my opinion, the most outrageous tale in the film. And it does concern this innocent child.
The all-American parents who want a child more than anything else on earth. They will do ANYTHING to get a child, and of course, they will be the perfect parents, ensuring the child has everything he or she needs as well as providing an environment where again, political correctness and religious tolerance is stressed to the uttermost degree.
If only the woman from the adoption agency knew what she was walking into…
While reality was strained, I know demented people exist, and these parents are desperate and “bad people,” right?
They meant no real harm–it was a means to an end. The ending of this story is incredibly bizarre, but in spite of myself, I laughed at the idiotic darkness of it. I believe the account made its point.
Ah, the joys of the coaches who help you be yourself–don’t we see these scams all around us? Of course, we do! Enter Hollywood actress who has invested her money in this program…
Enter her new roommate from down south who knows absolutely nothing of the right way to behave…
And enter hot producer guy…
Do I need to say how this ends? All I will say is that of the various short stories told throughout, I enjoyed this one more than any of the others. It still had its unanticipated ending…
If I had a choice, this would have been the story I would have chosen to expand and watch in its entirety. I adored the characters–didn’t necessarily cherish the denouement, but it wasn’t a real surprise after all. This story was less zany than the others, at least in some respects. And I just relished Miss Southern Belle and loathed Miss Hollywood.
Ever heard about the fact that cheating on a woman can be dangerous? Well, this story illustrates just that.
Typical no-good guy decides to play the field, and when the girls find out….
The pizza guy is cute though, right?
A woman scorned..
Or should I say three women scorned?
There’s one more intriguing part to this tapestry of stories. There is a storyline that is constant throughout the vexing narrative, and I have to say, I appreciated the consistency of this story. In fact, it truly made you stop and think about political corruption and more. Ideal message for this year.
And as they told the story of this gal…
…it was a hoot. And who ended up smelling like a proverbial rose?
I tell you, this could have been a story in itself as well. So much like our culture!
To be honest, my criticisms of this film are very few. Other than the cautions I mentioned at the beginning, I found myself only bothered by one thing. This film seems to put forth the idea that it is only “bad people” who get ahead. And on the surface, that appears to be true. In a mystery, I am always incensed when the murderer gets away with the crime, and in this case, it would appear that the “bad guys” get away with a massive amount of atrocities. And innocent people get hurt.
Now, while that did not sit well with me, I would invite any viewers to dig just a little bit deeper. Don’t merely scratch the surface. Decipher the underlying message. While these people appear to get away with some of the most heinous crimes on planet earth, what happens after they get away with it? What happens years later? Even for those who may not have a conscience, consider the fact that they are not happy. Their successes are meaningless. Nothing works out how they wish, and they are constantly looking over their shoulders for the next person who is swooping in to steal the semblance of happiness from their lives.
There are a myriad of ways to watch and examine this film. Some will enjoy the inventive script and eccentric storylines. Others will luxuriate in the dark humor. But I somehow believe this story is more a sardonic look at our culture today. It’s meant to disconcert you as well as entertain you. Is it worth sacrificing everything you believe in to have a child of your own? Is your career success worth stepping on everyone on the way up and making enemies that will rip you to shreds on the way down? Are “bad people” truly happier than “good people?” Honestly, that’s a question that may never be answered.
While I’m afraid I know none of the cast members, and all played their parts amazingly well, I must tip my hat to the man whose brainchild this film is-Alex Petrovitch. As he states, his story is to make you laugh at what has become our “new normal.” And indeed, there will be some laughs along the way. But it should also cause you to look at what you have accepted into your life as well–society has affected each one of us in both negative and positive ways. While we laugh at it, it should make us think. Satire does just that. Alex has crafted a spellbinding independent film that will be available for purchase before too long. If you are willing to challenge yourself with an unusual film, I invite you to watch out for this one. As I observed after watching the film, there will probably be at least one story that will truly resonate with you, and in my case, there was more than one. I call it a bit of something for everyone, and it’s decidedly captivating.
While you are awaiting the release, be sure that you check out the film at the links below as they may answer some of your questions (or maybe they will raise even more questions).
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