Film: 'The Man in the Maze'; Cast: Andrew Roth, Liana Werner-Gray, Erik A. Williams, Stephanie Long Lomenick; Director: Mitesh Kumar Patel; Rating: 1/2 *
There are some films which are so inconsistent in every department that it becomes a masterpiece of an example to show aspiring filmmakers exactly what not to do. 'The Man in the Maze' is a film which reaches excellence in that department.
Three friends camping in the woods are assaulted by a stranger wearing bandages on his face. The fourth friend escapes and manages to sneak up on the masked man and save his friends. They beat up and tie the man and try to find their way out of the woods but it seems someone is trailing them.
There are so many things wrong with the film that it will perhaps take a book to recount them all. But let's state a few.
The major problem is the story. It is inspired by the French time-travel film 'Timecrimes' with elements of mysticism added to it.
However, while 'Timecrimes' was a perfectly logical film that ties all loose ends and explains all doubts, this one does such a shoddy job, relying on disgracefully shot scenes of Red Indians (played by its Indian director Mitesh Kumar Patel) that you squirm in your seat with disgust.
Secondly, the writers have a misconception about them being good dialogue writers. The four characters thus go on and on for a majority of the film without either the horror or the suspense ever unfolding.
Finally when it does, the treatment is so bad, that it seems to have been not only done by someone who has never wielded a camera but someone who has the brains of a junior school kid.
The camera work is inconsistent, acting is nowhere to be seen, music is all over the place, the conceptualisation of scenes and flow is so bad that you have to literally tear your head.
For example, after almost being killed by a masked man, and in a jungle that is far from civilisation, the four friends go through the jungle as if they are taking a walk in the park. No one seems scared or in any hurry.
(Satyen K. Bordoloi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)