Manoman movie full length review - Oh Man, Man Oh Man!
Not for the faint-hearted, Manoman is an intriguing, disturbing, and funny-at-times short film, which uses marionettes and stop motion to convey a powerful story.
The animation is almost realistic in settings, backgrounds and human characters. The story is well narrated, the main character is well explored, and it has a shocking-not-so-shocking ending.
The film starts with the main character, a pusillanimous man, attending a session of primal or scream therapy. Unlike the rest of the men attending, he is not screaming, he is sort anxious but unable to express what is inside him. However, his inner trauma is getting louder inside and an episode during a recess in the session produces the final reaction: the shy man vomits a naked wicked nasty mini-man.
The story can be seen as a modern retake on the tale of the doppelganger, which is portrayed in folklore as an evil twin and a carrier of back luck.On the other hand, there is an exploration of the characteristics of human nature, are we all savage by nature or good people? This is mixed with a psychological exploration of the dark side of the self, (the Jungian Shadow) and of the dark side of the mind (insanity). Finally, The cocktail you get is not the Martini kind but more the Molotov kind.
The film has explicit violence, sex scenes, nudity, and adult themes in general, so not for children at all, and not for every adult viewer either because it has very wicked scenes. I think for you to stand the harshness of the clip you have to focus on what the story wants to convey, as that's the beauty of this film. Focus on the metalanguage used, or the palimpsest message lying underneath the apparently obvious. You have to ask yourself, what does this little man represent? Once you identify who this little man is, the rest of the film falls into place, and the ending is just the natural result. Sometimes we open doors we regret opening, because lead to self-destruction, because leave escape parts of ourselves that live hidden within the subconscious and the conscious is not able to deal with, or because produce dramatic transformations in ourselves that kill part of us that will never be there.
Probably the thing I liked the least about the film were the marionette's invasive wires, because it brought me out of the story and were a distraction. I don't know if it would be possible to use lighter wiring or just erase the wires digitally. Of course, this is just a personal preference and doesn't rest merit to the film, which feels almost real.