December 20, 2018

Welcome to Marwen is in theaters on December 21st, 2018.

‘Welcome to Marwen’, directed by Robert Zemeckis (who also directed Forrest Gump) comes back with a remarkable true story. I went into this movie with high expectations because the trailers really moved me. I left the theatre a bit disappointed which is sad for me to say because I really wanted this movie to be good.

Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) is an illustrator who is left brain-damaged due to a vicious attack by five men outside a bar that left him in a coma and without memory. These men attacked him because he was a cross dresser, making this a hate crime. He finds recovery and comfort by having created a 1/6th scale town during the World War II-era called Marwen. This town is made up of dolls that represent him and people he interacts with in real life, including crushes and assailants. The problem with this is he is so invested in this world he created for himself that the dolls and action figures are more real to him than the actual humans.

Let me start by saying this movie is not for kids. Yes, there are dolls in the movie that remind us of a Toy Story/Small Soldiers movie. But the movie is very dark and the dolls encounter somewhat horrible-looking deaths. There were bits of humor to break up the dark story of survival. The animated sequence with the dolls were fun to watch, but because there were too many of them, it completely overshadowed the main story which wasn’t really told that well. I think the only thing that saved the film was Steve Carell’s performance as Mark. He really gave this movie his all. Carell really made use of his awkwardness he’s known for to illuminate Mark’s social withdrawal and the hidden sadness that’s visible in each scene. I really felt for Mark in the fim and wanted him to overcome his tragedy along with getting the girl he crushed on throughout the film.

I really wanted to see Mark’s battle through PTSD. I also wanted to see who he was before the tragic event and him overcoming the tragedy in a heartfelt way. I didn’t get that in the movie. With other great movies coming out this holiday week, I would probably skip this one until it comes to Redbox.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Nikki Nikki (Contributor) is a Chicago Native who loves watching movies (some definitely more than once). Her favorite genres include Thrillers and Dramas. When she's not at the movies you can most likely find her at a live concert, singing along to a Disney classic or binge watching Netflix.
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