January 10, 2013

Filthy Review - 'The Guy Knows Everything'

The Guy Knows Everything (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Back in May of 2011 I was introduced to filmmaker Joops Fragale, when I watch his short film Simone. I was impressed with what I saw, in fact you can check out my review here if you wish, and was eager to see what would come next. What came next was another short, which also came in at around the 15 minute mark, entitled Date Night. Both were very good short movies, with an eye for the visual, utilizing great camerawork, editing and overall visual style, but neither really prepared me for his latest film, the one of which I am now reviewing.

To pigeonhole The Guy Knows Everything within one genre, or sub-genre, is no easy task; suffice to say that I could best describe it as a dark comedy with very sinister undertones. Hell, even then I am not doing it justice, and worse than that I’d probably end up misrepresenting the 25 minute film. Maybe I should just get to the point of reviewing the damned thing, and then maybe you can make your own minds up? Sounds like a deal to me. After all, the devil is in the details.

A group of friends spend their evening challenging each other to sports trivia questions in their local bar. It’s all fun and games, although Kenny is the one character that takes his trivia very seriously, not unlike me to tell the truth. Whilst they are playing, a stranger walks into the bar and proceeds to order himself three shots, of which he downs in quick succession.

After a while the stranger approaches the group of friends, after answering one of their questions, and offers them a challenge; they can ask him any question from now until midnight, and if he gets an answer wrong they get to keep the pot of cash, as they have to pay to ask a question. If he answers them all correctly, he gets to keep the pot. Sounds like an easy win for the group, right? You did read the name of the film, didn’t you?

Quite honestly, the thought of watching a film set almost entirely at one table in a bar, whilst people ask each other questions, does not sound like riveting entertainment. But, oh my, how wrong could I have been? Very, is the short and simple answer to this. The Guy Knows Everything is sheer delight to watch; it’s funny, sharp, witty and incredibly well put together. More than this though, is the fact that the tension rises steadily throughout the film’s running time, with the musical score and cinematography working together to enhance this sense of impending revelation.

Where is the film going? Who is this guy? What will happen at midnight? Well, I’m certainly not saying, suffice to say that this is an almost perfectly crafted short film. I only say almost as there was a small section of the film of which a song plays over a montage of the night thus far. It took me out of the moment slightly, but was soon forgotten when the games commence.

The star of the show for me was Paul Phillips, as The Stranger, who delivers a mesmerizing performance; all swagger and cool, where nothing ruffles him. He oozes a charismatic charm that truly sells the role to the viewer, yet underneath his confident exterior there seems to lay an underlying darkness; something you can’t quite put your finger on, but maybe the films poster might give you an idea. Read into it what you will, I have my ideas and I don’t doubt that you will have yours. Whatever conclusion you make though, there is no denying in my eyes that this was a fantastic performance in an incredibly good film, which incidentally is ably supported by a very strong cast throughout.

Films like The Guy Knows Everything reaffirms my belief that new, exciting and original cinema is still out; it’s alive and kicking, and it only takes someone with a set of balls to bring films like this to a wider audience. If you’re fed up with sequels, remakes and glossy crap without an ounce of smarts, you should make it your mission to check out The Guy Knows Everything.

This is a truly terrific film that kept my attention completely; one moment I was laughing out loud, the next I was chewing my finger nails. The Guy Knows Everything, so he already knows that I thought this was an outstanding film.

For more information about The Guy Knows Everything check out 386 Films Official Site.

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