17
Sep
2009
Review: Big Fan
Big Fan
Sam
Robert Siegel, after writing an amazing script in The Wrestler, has come back in equally great form with Big Fan. Of course, this time Siegel does not have the directorial talents of Darren Aronofsky so instead, he decided to get his hands dirty and do it himself.

Big Fan is centered around Paul Aufiero (or Paul from Staten Island on the radio) played by Patton Oswalt, who is a huge, and I mean huge New York Giants fan. He eats, sleeps and breathes Giants football. He worships at the feet of one player in player in particular"ā€¯Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm, no not Jon Hamm).
On one fateful evening, Paul and his best buddy Sal (Kevin Corrigan) see Quantrell Bishop across the street and decide to follow him to maybe get the chance to meet him. They follow Bishop to a club and when Paul finally musters up the courage to introduce himself and meet his icon, Bishop freaks thinking Paul's some sort of a stalker. Bishop beats Paul to a pulp, placing him in a coma.

Paul wakes up to a crisis, does he throw Bishop under the bus and take the big cash payout or does he stay true to his Giants and not hurt the team by getting Bishop put in jail. I won't spoil it for you, but the internal struggle is gripping and Oswalt plays it perfectly.

Touching and at times depressing, we get a glimpse into the life of someone most of us would pity. Unmarried and living at home with his mother, Paul is the idea of what most people would think is a miserable life. But is it? Paul's discovery of who he is and what he wants out of his life is an incredibly entertaining and emotional journey to take as a viewer and that's a credit to Siegel who has penned an excellent script.

Visually the film is pretty minimalistic, appropriate to the film, but I cannot help but wonder how the film would have looked in the hands of another director. Siegel did a more than capable job with the film but I still left asking that question. Really the only problem with the direction was at times pacing was a bit of an issue at times.

The star here is Oswalt obviously and after this he will likely sink back into character actor and comedy nerd oblivion. Though his star is on the rise don't look for him to be the leading man in many upcoming films yet he proved he can do it here. Big Fan is emotionally wrenching, as watching someone struggle with losing the only thing they hold dear in their life, the only thing that makes them happy. This is one viewer who is looking forward to the next tortured soul Robert Siegel plans on bringing to the big screen.

A-

Notes:
-Getting to see Patton Oswalt run is worth the price of admission alone.

-Can't wait for the next Siegel flick, I think I can call myself a Big Fan (sorry).
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