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Reviewer: William McAbee

Stars: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson

Released: 2nd March 2012

What is Love? No do not worry I am not quoting the epic song by Haddaway but I am really questioning the concept of love. Some of my all time favorite movies have attempted to explore this question and theme: Blue Valentine, In The Mood For Love, Casablanca, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. These are some of the greatest movies ever made and explore deep human and real emotions that everyone goes through. Then we come across Bellflower which made a big hit at 2011’s Sundance and SXSW film festivals. The film became known for its unique story and the fact that the filmmakers made their own camera for the film made out of vintage camera parts, bellows, Russian lenses, and a SI-2K digital cinema camera from Silicon Imaging. I was definitely interested in the film because of what I heard and to see the cinematography from this unique camera. Not only that but the fact that Evan Glodell wrote, produced, edited, acted, and directed the movie pulled me in even more as I love seeing a passion project on screen. So what did I think about this indie hit? Read on to find out…

Bellflower follows two best friends: Woodrow and Aiden. The two friends are on a mission in Los Angeles to create a flame thrower, a Max Mad car, and more weird creations in preparation for the Apocalypse. One night at bar, Woodrow meets Milly and its love at first sight. As the two travel to and spend time together, they grow closer and they seem perfect together and life is good. As the film progresses things turn out to be completely the opposite. People are betrayed, hearts broken, relationships ruined and no one will ever be the same again. The unexpected becomes reality and everyone’s life becomes a literal apocalypse.

The main thing that stands out about Bellflower obviously is the cinematography. The look and feel of the film is unlike anything I have seen before and it completely works. It creates a tone and mood for the film without having to say a word and it slowly soaks you into the world of Bellflower. Its a marvel to look at and totally innovative, I hope it is a look that catches on. As I tell my friends, you want to see movies that are daring to do something that nobody else is doing. In my opinion if a movie isn’t trying to do something new then its hard to stand out from the crowd. Daring to try new stuff is what makes films like Star Wars and Pulp Fiction so great. The images are fantastic, especially the stuff with the flame thrower, and the camera makes the simplest scenes look fantastic. It helps that the movie has a great director in Glodell who is able to create great scenes for the film to capture. This film’s cinematography totally succeeds in this and adds another level of awesomeness to the film.

Besides the look of the film, the story has a dark, brutal honest truth about it that I feel can only come from real life. While some of the things that happen in the movie are completely extreme, the emotions and problems that these character deal with is completely relatable to anyone who has lived. Friendship, love, betrayal, lost innocence, hope, and the search for belonging is all personal struggle that we all have to face in our lives. These characters go through these same problems and deal with them in a completely honest portrayal. I never once felt that the movie is ridiculous or over the top but trying to show us a world that exists in reality that many like to ignore.

The characters are lovable and hatable all within the same movie. Some are compelling and some you will put the face of the person you hate with them. I enjoyed them all especially the struggle relationship between Woodrow and Milly. We see their relationship blossom at the beginning and fall in love with their love but soon see them fall apart and see just how brutal they can be to each other. In one journey we see how much two people can care for one another and then the horrible things they can do to each other. My favorite character throughout the movie was Aiden who turns out to be the best friend in the whole world. While relationships are falling apart and Woodrow is slowly slipping into a dark depression, Aiden works tirelessly to finish the apocalypse car for him and to cheer him up. To see his pursuit and passion for their friendship and to bring Woodrow to a happier place is heart warming and breaking at the same time. We root so bad for Aiden to be successful and have his friend back at the same time we see him became unable to achieve his hopes.

What makes the characters so compelling though is that the story holds up and is strong enough for the characters to work. We love the premise of friends preparing for the apocalypse and then relate to the pursuit of love that Woodrow goes for. We want everything to work out and for these character to be happy together but in the end we know that the apocalypse is inevitable. When we reach the half way point and the film tells us that everything must end we see that these people are locked by fate.

Bellflower is one of the most unique movies I have ever seen. It stands out and is successful at it. You won’t ever see a movie like it and I am glad that I won’t. It is an unforgettable experience and a good one at that. The ending is ambiguous but I think it leaves each audience with its own interpretation in my opinion. I adore it and its one hell of a movie that I highly suggest to anyone. Be ready for the roller coaster that is the last act. Everything in this movie works and I won’t deny my love for it. Its powerful, heartbreaking, emotional, but most of all brutally honest with its audience.


Hello! I am William McAbee. I do my fair share of reviews from time to time and I tweet like there is no tomorrow! I work currently as a video editor and producer.

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