If you’ve ever seen someone in the street and thought ‘You know, I wonder if that person will influence my life in anyway’, you probably have too much time on your hands. One such person with too much time, and it seems, money, is Polish director Jerry Skolimowski, who’s new film, 11 Minutes, depicts the connectivity of individuals in an unnamed (possibly Polish) city. So wowed was he with his own idea, that he forgot to create any character worth watching or any situation worth exploring.
That’s not to say that 11 Minutes is bad. More that it’s so bad that during the interminable eighty-one minute runtime, your eyes – praying not to see any more of this tedious tripe – will begin to blister over. The ensuing pain will be a welcome relief.
The film doesn’t have enough plot or ideas. It’s a short film crudely masquerading as a feature, only to be caught and revealed for what it truly is. 95% of the film is slow motion, the other 5% bizarre art-house crap. You know what audiences love? A twenty second shot of a bubble. You know what they love even more? A slow reverse tracking shot of a drip of water going up the outside of a building. That’s entertainment.
For a film like this to work, the characters need to be compelling in their brief moments, the drama coming from how their desires are either hindered or helped by the people they come in contact with. Personally, I spent a large portion of the film trying to decide which one of the charmless and forgettable characters I wanted to die first. Is it the couple who argue about mountain climbing with a porn-star? Or perhaps the paramedic who destroys a cupboard with a wrench? Or maybe the gaggle of nuns, who marvel at the idea of an oversized hotdog?
In a cast of dozens not one character was in the slightest bit interesting. If the situations weren’t so contrived and forced to fit into the eventual story, and if the characters had defined goals to move towards, then – still unlikely, but possibly – it could have worked.
The film had neither of these things, so doesn’t work at all.
For some reason, the Irish Film Board has attached its name to this twaddle. Why has the IFB’s objective become about putting money into terrible foreign films with zero Irish interest? Yes, Richard Dormer is in it, but most punters won’t have a blues who he is. At least if it’s a terrible Irish film there’s some benefit. The IFB will need to sit down with a nice glass of tap water before ever putting its name to something so ill conceived.
Incomprehensible and charmless, never has the word nonsense been so applicable.
If you think Rían’s review was too scathing, let him know on Twitter.