'Welcome to Marwen' - Movie Review

This movie is a fictionalized account of the life of Mark Hogancamp (see my review of "Marwencol" for more), an artist who creates imaginary scenes from the Second World War at 1/6th scale after a traumatic life-changing beating. Steve Carrell plays Hogancamp. The movie switches back and forth between scenes of WW2 mayhem played out by the characters looking like animated dolls and Hogancamp's mundane and fairly insular life in small town New York in the current day. The big spectres in his life are the sentencing of his attackers and the opening of his first art show, neither of which he wants to attend.

Their recreation of Hogancamp himself, and the town of Marwencol, are surprisingly physically accurate: Carrell wears clothing and jewelry that look exactly like those worn by the actual Hogancamp.

"Marwencol" was a fairly good movie, telling the story of a damaged guy working hard to deal with his problems through his own artwork. Where the movie falls down is attempting to bring Hogancamp's world of imagination to life. Where it falls down badly is in bringing cheesy humour to that world ("hey dolls, let's get moving.") It would have been very difficult to do this without humour, but it couldn't have been much worse than it turned out with it. The jokes aren't even funny. The world Hogancamp created was one of romance and bloody violence, and it's origin was a horrific event that completely changed his life and left him forever disabled: I'm really not seeing the humour.

If you're interested in this subject and/or Mark Hogancamp, watch "Marwencol." Pass on this.