Sharad Kant Patel’s Somebody’s Darling is the first film I’ve reviewed after a two year hiatus…and by and large it is representative of what I dislike about this kind of movie. It’s a solid rough draft that could be something really special…eventually. With better actors. And a script that actually manages to convey the director’s message. As it stands currently, Patel really wants a message conveyed, and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it’s more than “Rape is bad, mmkay?” Because rape is bad.
Without going into the gory details, of which there are several, or else Somebody’s Darling couldn’t be marketed to the horror crowd, the plot goes a little something like this: Creepy Wooden Boy (his acting is wooden, not his actual construction) meets Dramatic Girl. Dramatic Girl refutes Creepy Wooden Boy’s advances. Dramatic Girl puts Creepy Wooden Boy in the Friend Zone. Hard. Creepy Wooden Boy can’t handle this, since he’s a frat guy who can get any girl (or hen, as they’re referred to in this flick) he wants. Creepy Wooden Boy’s frat brothers commit more rape. The Creepy Wooden Boy then gets pale. Movie ends with predictable and unsatisfying climax.
There are a few good things about the movie…the broken staircase stuff is visually appealing. It’s an interesting set piece that really manages to push the film ever so slightly into marginal territory. The sound though? That outright sucks. BECAUSE I COULDN’T HEAR HALF OF WHAT THE CHARACTERS WERE SAYING! I offer several solutions for this; tweak your audio mix to emphasize dialogue in a dialogue heavy film, or have your actors speak in a normal conversational tone (because it is possible to convey various emotions at an audible volume level), or just say “To hell with it!” and make a silent movie. It might have actually benefited Somebody’s Darling to take that approach. I could be wrong, but as it stands I can’t imagine this movie going much further than being shown on Showtime Beyond at 2 a.m. on a Saturday. If they took the silent film approach it’d be a neat curiosity, maybe going so far as to be a Drafthouse film.
From my understanding Patel wore many hats during the creation of this film, and he should be commended for that. I’ve seen worse offerings from first time filmmakers. I’ve seen better films, though. Somebody’s Darling is a solid business card to drum up more film-making work, however. As I said before (or maybe alluded to) there’s potential here. The timing of the release needs to be touched upon for a moment, too, since we’re in the midst of seemingly never ending allegations of sexual assault…admittedly that probably tainted my view on the film, especially feeling that there was an attempt at a commentary which never becomes realized.
Somebody’s Darling Final Thoughts
Somebody’s Darling is an average film at best. It’s a solid offering from a first time filmmaker learning as he progresses. The acting stinks, the sound stinks, but at times it’s pretty to look at. It’s really like a Gregg Araki (Doom Generation, Nowhere) film without the humor or charm. Or self-awareness. For those interested in Somebody’s Darling, it releases today 12/1 on Amazon, Google Play, and what I’m sure will be every streaming site known to man eventually.