Directed by Christopher Di Nunzio
Starring David Graziano, Jami Tennille, Irina Peligrad, Kris Salvi, Carlyne Fournier and Renee Lawrie
Indie Film Review by Michael Fiott
Delusion tells the story of Frank (David Graziano), a widower of three years who receives a letter from his deceased wife. After being encouraged by his nephew to meet somebody new, Frank crosses paths with Mary (Jami Tennille), an attractive and mysterious woman who leads him down a dark and spiritual path in the process.
Director Christopher Di Nunzio obviously has an intriguing imagination and it shows from plot point to plot point, but unfortunately the film is never allowed to fully breathe and let the audience become interested in what they are viewing. This is down to a great many problems that the film has, starting with less than attractive cinematography and blocking.
Whether the scene is set in a gorgeous forest or a simple bar, the camera is left completely static and on many occasions at an extremely awkward angle, a prime example of this would be a very early scene in Delusion in which Frank talks with his nephew whilst playing pool. This was a brilliant opportunity for Di Nunzio to show us his understanding of mise-en-scéne and use the camera as a tool to hopefully help us learn something about the characters. But instead it is left completely still using only one or two shots, this is the case for the majority of the film and it results in the audience becoming restless and bored because they are not given anything interesting to look at on the screen.
This is not helped by the film's script, the majority of the dialogue is either general conversation, cliché or repeats of plot points over and over again, one or two elements of the script also serve no purpose to the overall plot. For example, Frank is on his phone in a car park, when who I assume is an old friend of his approaches, both of them exchange pleasantries and do small talk before they both go their separate ways. This character never appears again at any point and progressed nothing towards the plot, it existed purely to show that Frank is a popular man in his neighborhood, which is already established tenfold throughout the film's length.
That brings us to the characters in Delusion, if you were given the task of describing each character without telling me how they looked, you may find it hard to come up with too many words. Frank is friendly, naive and loving and Mary is flirtatious and deviant, after that it becomes quite hard to find other characters to describe. Because of the script's shortcomings the cast is not given material with any depth to work with, an actor needs to know more about the character they are playing above and beyond simple adjectives such as ‘friendly’ or ‘mischievous’, they need backgrounds, histories and opportunities to show their characters through action, which was not provided to them.
As before mentioned, the film's positives come from Di Nunzio’s imagination, the dream sequence scene at some points shows promise and even begins to be reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ in its use of visuals. With better writing and utilisation of the basics, Delusion would have been able to flourish but unfortunately I wasn’t left wanting more.