Minus Man, The

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 10/06/99 05:45:12

"Radiant and disturbing. Subtle, oh so subtle."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Janeane Garofolo shines in this film which features Owen Wilson as serial killer, Vann Siegert.

I don't know what Janeane Garofalo has, but it really comes out in this movie. Both her and Owen Wilson give the kind of performances that make independant film worth supporting. As IFC likes to brag, "No Hollywood Crap".

Minus Man doesn't have story as much as it has a trail. We are seeing another passage in the life of Vann Siegert. Siegert is an opportunistic serial killer who uses amaretto poisoned with a fungus that grows in the pacific northwest to put his victims to sleep, forever.

An opportunistic killer is one who does not plan a murder, but takes advantage of a situation to kill. There are reams of studies done on these guys so if you are really interested in that part of the film, check a local library ... or since you are already online you can check it out right here!

People really like Vann. Just like people really liked Jeffery Daumer. He knows how to read people but he doesn't really read himself very well. He is a killer and not an incidental one and you think you have a grasp about why he does it, but then he breaks his own rules and you have to wonder why he does it.

Bodies begin to be found, suspicion runs rampant. Another murder where Vann is not a suspect brings out the FBI. This turns out to be Vann's exit out of town, uncaught and virtually unknown.

The camera loves Janeane Garofalo in this film. She is given a few full screen face shots that bring out a radiance and a gentleness that we don't usually see in the bitter and sardonic characters she tends to portray.

It's a facet of her range that we got a glimpse of in "The Truth about Cats and Dogs".

I don't know why they called it the Minus Man. Unless they mean that he subtracts bodies from the upright positon.

And all those other actors did a good job too. Nobody really makes any sense in this movie. Lots of open ended questions lend to the airy and subdued atmosphere of Minus Man. Its a less extreme Twin Peaks experience where you never really do find out who killed Laura Palmer but along the way you get to wonder at the strange dynamics of human relationships outside of the seven standard plots.

A definitely rewarding amble through the strange vagueries of the life of a serial killer. No answers, no theories, just vignettes.

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