Saturday, June 15, 2024

Liz Whittemore on The Shallow Tale of a Writer Who Decided to Write about a Serial Killer (2024) Tribeca 2024


This piece originally ran at Liz's regular home REEL NEWS DAILY

A hapless writer gets pulled into a scheme involving his wife, his impending divorce, and a serial killer yearning to be the subject of his next book. Tolga Kara├želik‘s first English-language film, The Shallow Tale of a Writer Who Decided to Write about a Serial Killer, makes its debut for Tribeca 2024 audiences.

After Suzie asks Keane for a divorce, Kollmick poses as a marriage counselor to throw her off the scent of their agreement. Suzie becomes suspicious with the discovery of each book Kollmick suggests Keane study. Convinced she is the target of Keane’s strange new behavior, the three become entangled in a complicated plot for individual satisfaction.

Britt Lower plays Suzie, Keane’s fed-up wife. Suzie has a type A personality and a pristine appearance. Her fashionably buttoned-up look, whether donning silk pajamas or a salmon-colored suit, is perfection. Her morose delivery is flawless.

John Magaro nails the role of Keane. He swings from overly nonchalant to manic as the film progresses. A celebration of childish floundering, this performance is hysterical.

The SHALLOW TALE 2Steve Buscemi is a legend. In pretending to be Keane and Suzie’s marriage counselor, he brings his murder advice into the sessions, equally confusing and intriguing his faux clients. Buscemi’s calm and confident nature is captivating.

The cast’s chemistry is spectacular. Buscemi and Magaro have a fun banter, but the most surprising firecracker moments happen between him and Lower. The way they both lean into Suzie’s macabre aura is a hoot. Kara├želik’s dialogue is witty. The cinematography from Natalie Kingston is beautiful, utilizing noir lighting.

THE SHALLOW TALE is weird, but the good kind of weird. It’s simultaneously so strange and dark you find yourself smirking and scratching your head, needing to know where it goes next. The film boasts a knee-slapping climax akin to a high-stakes ping-pong match. THE SHALLOW TALE is a dark oddball comedy that celebrates leaning into our authentic selves and the essence of communication, no matter the fallout.

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