Snowflake Blu-ray Review
Written by Robert Gold
Blu-ray released by Artsploitation Films
Directed by Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James
Written by Arend Remmers
2017, 121 minutes, Not Rated
Released on December 18th, 2018
Reza Brojerdi as Javid
Erkan Acar as Tan
Xenia Assenza as Eliana
David Masterson as Carson
Alexander Schubert as Arend Remmers
Judith Hoersch as Snowflake
Gedeon Burkhard as Winter
Snowflake tells two overlapping tales, one in English, the other in German, both involving criminals. In the first story, Turkish outlaws Javid and Tan find themselves trapped in a bizarre situation with the discovery of an incredibly astute screenplay that mirrors their every move up to the minute. They think it may be witchcraft or something equally sinister and opt to find out how this is possible by tracking down the screenwriter. The second plot line follows Eliana and her bodyguard, Carson, as she seeks revenge against the thugs who murdered her parents. She is given a list of potential contract killers to accomplish her goal, but learns they are not the easiest people to bargain with. Add into the mix an angelic singer named Snowflake plus a man claiming to be God – and don’t forget the vigilante super hero for good measure – and you are in for one weird ride.
Our story is set in an anarchic Berlin in the very near future as three characters search for the people responsible for the deaths of their parents. Javid and Tan are unlikely protagonists in this winding tale of strange things on a quest to find vengeance. Their mission takes a hard turn with the appearance of the prophetic screenplay. They track down the writer only to learn he is an unassuming and relatively clueless dentist. Javid and Tan are aware that they are part of a script but do not understand the ramifications. Eliana is a young no-nonsense woman with a score to settle. She knows what she wants but not how to get it and must rely on others for help. She crosses paths with a wide variety of memorable characters, including a pair of cannibalistic assassins wearing masks identified as Pig and Chicken.
Snowflake (aka Schneeflöckchen) screenwriter Arend Remmers inserts himself as a character into his own story as the dentist with a penchant for writing, thus making for a very meta experience. This tale is an exercise in the frustrations of being a writer and the ability to tell a compelling story. Shades of Adaptation and Stranger than Fiction are abundant, but Remmers keeps the idea fresh and fluid. There are plenty of twists and turns, but some feel extraneous and exist solely to pad the running time. With no shortage of ideas, the script could have been streamlined a bit, but it still works despite its exhausting nature.
Reza Brojerdi and Erkan Acar star as Javid and Tan respectively and they are both up to the task of shouldering a good chunk of the picture. They play well off each other and are believable in their roles as anti-heroes. There is some great comic timing in their exchanges with the screenwriter and viewers will root for them to achieve their goal. The lovely Xenia Assenza stars as Eliana, the orphaned girl looking for some private justice. She carries the other half of the picture with ease and is instantly likeable. David Masterson is Carson, the voice of reason guiding Eliana on her quest. He honors her wishes and tries to steer her clear of danger. He has a calming presence that keeps things grounded as they tend to spiral out of control.
Directed by Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James, the picture is structured like a Tarantino film with a narrative that plays with timelines and spends light-hearted moments with violent criminals. The pacing is a bit uneven and there is a lot going on, but I was never bored or confused. The picture could stand to lose a subplot, but I found the piece enjoyable. Snowflake is a small film telling a big story and the directors mostly succeed in their efforts. The cast is solid and for the most part deliver strong performances. Konstantin Freyer’s cinematography is pleasing and he comes up with some great shots. A lot of this film works really well, but as I said, the script is a little scattered at times throwing a lot of ideas at the wall, but I can’t really fault them for trying. Pay attention to this one as it moves pretty fast, you’ll be glad you did.
Video and Audio:
Snowflake arrives in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and features a strong transfer with a rather appealing picture. Colors are strong and there is a lot of small-object detail, particularly in hair and fibers.
A Dolby Digital 5.1 track in both German and English gets the job done and gives the rear channels a workout with music and effects. Dialogue levels are well-balanced and never distorted. A Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix is also provided, but I preferred the expanded track.
Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.
A behind-the-scenes making-of documentary (59 minutes) is compiled of footage shot on set during production over several days covering the effort that went into the shoot. There are no sit-down interviews, but this is a very thorough piece providing a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the cast and crew at work.
The original trailer is included.
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