The Wolfpack movie full length review - A disappointing film of an interesting subject that ultimately leads us to ask, "So what?"
'The Wolfpack' doesn't come together
'The Wolfpack' is a film like no other. Sometimes that works well as it did in 'Inception', 'Pan's Labyrinth' and 'Blue Velvet.' At other times, it fails horribly, like it did in one of David Lynch's latest films (I stopped keeping up after a couple terrible films), 'Inland Empire.' 'The Wolfpack' is not completely terrible. It is interesting and takes on a unique subject. However, the film lacks focus and doesn't address the issues it highlights in any concrete manner.
I have the sense the director, Crystal Moselle, just ran into the family somewhere and decided to film them on a lark. Then after a couple of years, she decided to make a movie of it because graduation time in film school required her to present a film and the footage of nine people holed up in a Lower East Side tenement apartment was the only material she had available. Point is, there was no forethought in what the director/creator was doing, and it shows in the film.
Don't get me wrong. The film is interesting, and it's completely pointless. It's not quite surreal enough to stand on its own; it's far too repetitive for that. A dramatic moment in the film is when five of the brothers finally step out of the apartment together and see a film in a theater. That's it. While it might be dramatic for the brothers, the film doesn't convey that. The brothers also wonder aimlessly around Coney Island, and yes, the whole family takes an outing to a farm.
As a teacher I once had was fond of asking when I presented a paper, "So what?" So what indeed. With a subject this compelling, it's a shame there was only documentation of random repetitiveness. That isn't enough.
Rating: Rent it. It's been a long time since I intensely desired that a film end. It wasn't because I was uncomfortable with the subject, it was the feeling that I was ultimately just watching paint dry that made me want to leave. It's hard to believe that the film is only 80 minutes long.
Although the feelings of claustrophobia in the film's apartment work well on a large screen, there is not enough in the film to make it worth seeing in the theater. However, it wouldn't be a bad rental or better yet, a good sociological treatise. A cursory view of articles about the film tell us far more about the family than the film does, and that's a shame.
Peace, Tex Shelters