Otto Bloom (Xavier Samuel) is a very interesting man. After being found by a local policeman, Otto appears to have amnesia and has no memory of his past. He is then referred to a doctor for further assessment. After conducting a series of tests, it turns out Otto Bloom has amnesia, but has the amazing ability to predict upcoming events. In fact, Otto claims his future is actually his past. This is the story of his life of moving through time… in reverse.
For some of you, reading just the start of my review might make you feel a little confused already and that’s ok, lol. The plot alone can be slightly confusing and tricky, but our director has managed to pull off a well-filmed story. This is a love story, a drama and even carries a little touch of mystery as viewers gain a better knowledge of Otto’s life.
The Death And Life of Otto Bloom is presented as a documentary. Much of the film’s duration has actors simply facing the camera and telling the story, along with the footage, while the movie goes back and forth telling the life of Otto. The film is clever in the way it tells its story.
Many of the film’s shots have been taken with an old-style 8mm camera (with a 4:3 aspect) and the footage sometimes stuns viewers with the clever use of colours and selected scenes sneaking in black and white tones to help setup dramatic scenes. While the film’s camera and editing is brag-worthy as an Australian film, I felt the film’s soundtracks are used over and over again and completely misses the mark in creating what could have been memorable, moving score.
The film’s pacing is also worth mentioning. The film manages to capture a strong story mostly at the start and its finish. After an hour, I was really getting concerned as the film started to move very slowly and wasn’t getting anywhere.
Overall, the film The Death and Life of Otto Bloom has a story that would have been challenging to put on the screen. While the film is well-acted with clever camera work, the overall story moves at a slow pace. Some scenes I wish we saw in the film are completely skipped over and instead we just get someone staring at the camera explaining a scene instead of us seeing it. I feel this film could have been more enjoyable if it wasn’t made like a documentary, and would have been more of a journey we as the audience got to be a part of.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden