Heavy-handed and righteously self-important, Indie Game: The Movie is not a film for bullies and varsity QBs.
Are you lonely and feel dejected? Don’t feel like anyone really appreciates you? Well then boy, do I have the movie for you! It’s called Indie Game: The Movie and it’s all about, well, being yourself!
Ugh, this movie was a bit of a painful watch. Don’t get me wrong; I liked it. Sort of. It just had a lot of those… I don’t know, “really?” sort of moments. Because with documentaries there’s a bit of a give and take you need to establish with the audience. When you make the traditional fictional movie that we’re all familiar with, you as the director are granted a lot of leeway because you’re dictating a narrative, guts and all. As such, we’re willing to work with you in regards to establishing setting, developing characters, so on and so forth. But with a documentary, you’re more of a purveyor; a third party lurking around eying the goods so you can make that ever so sweet score. So with that being the case, you reeeeeeally need to give the audience something they can identify with. I mean introducing me to a beautiful woman is very attention grabbing, but if she’s littered with venereal diseases, what exactly do you expect me to get out of the situation?
Indie Game feels kind of like that. I mean yeah, sure, I get that it’s a tale of creative hardship and identity exploration and that these code guys are the new wave bohemians of the 2000s and blah blah blah… it’s just all just very… annoying? I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but the bottom-line is I could never get over how f*cking irritating all of the characters were. Maybe it’s because they were all pasty, poorly facial-haired nerds and I’m a super frat lord that lifts hella weight, but I could never really get into the whole mindset of, “Well, I made a pretty irresponsible decision trying to create this game with limited time and resources amongst massive expectations, BUUUUT this is all part of how I express myself so, yeah, please emphasize with me because isn’t this how underdog stories are supposed to work??” Yeah, sorry dude, not happening. You need to bring a biiiiit more to the table in order to get me to give a sh*t about your passion for creating video games.
I know this is probably coming off as pretty douchey and yeah, I’m hung over, but at the end of day documentarians are obligated to make their subjects relatable. I mean that’s the real challenge of making a documentary; bringing a unique subject to the table and coaxing the mainstream into not only identifying with it but appreciating it for intrinsically relatable reasons. That’s why I loved Jiro Dreams of Sushi so much. Not because you could identify with Jiro himself, but that you absolutely could identify with his sons and all those around him. You could pretty much, like them, look at Jiro be like, “Wow, considering I'm a career-oriented adult with long-term goals, this is clearly someone I can aspire to emulate.” With Indie Game you’re pretty much like, “Okay… so what you’re saying is that life is difficult? Awesome, thanks for the insight. Now don’t mind me while I go back to shoveling sh*t for a living.”
As Leo so succinctly put it in The Departed, “Are we done here with this psychiatry bullsh*t?”
Grade - C