3 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 94 minutes
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Roshan (Justin Hawkins) is a nice guy, and that just hasn’t been working out for him when it comes to the ladies. If he’s not being stood up for one reason, he’s being ignored for another. Eventually, it’s too much for a nice guy to bear, so he listens to his friend’s advice and tries a different tactic, going for honesty, no matter how insensitive, coupled with aloof. Immediately he finds success with the same women who found him wanting before. Unfortunately, it goes to his head and his behavior only gets worse until he’s not just trying out a different personality, he’s a straight-up asshole all the time.

The narrative of Justin Hawkins’ feature film, Prick, is structured in a pretty traditional three-acts. First we see how being a nice and sensitive guy got Roshan absolutely nowhere with the women in his life, watch him initially find success with the same ladies after adopting a more openly aggressive, asshole mentality (before seeing how that same attitude eventually turns things to shit), finally wrapping up with his decision on who he wants to be, and the fallout of that decision. It’s all very straightforward and fine, though I do think the film tries to up the dramatic ante in ways that can feel too contrived (such as with the Emily storyline).

Overall, though, the narrative is fine, and I have few problems. My main criticism of the film mostly centers around how much of a dick Roshan winds up becoming, but that’s more a matter of taste than anything, and one that underlines the film’s success more than it does any shortcomings. I mean, the film is called Prick, and Roshan certainly embodies that type of character when he goes over to the Dark Side; if I hate him and find little empathy, that’s sort of the point.

Which also means credit is due to Justin Hawkins for his portrayal of Roshan while also pulling additional duty as writer and director of the film (among other things). While I didn’t find his early portrayal of Roshan to be overwhelmingly nice (he just seemed a decent fellow, if a bit sad sack), he definitely commits to going full-on asshole by the time the film really gets rolling, making you hate him. Whether he brings you back from that disgust by the end is debatable, but it’s still a wide range that Hawkins utilizes to tell his character’s story.

Ultimately, I found Prick to be a solid indie drama, with occasional moments of comedic levity. Sure, it doesn’t always look or sound perfect, but it makes the most out of what it has, and what it is, to tell a simple story well enough. The edit could be a little tighter (I think it might have one woman subplot too many), but the film still comes together overall.

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Posted on March 4, 2014 in Reviews by

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