FEATURE FILM REVIEW
SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD
The Hollywood dream drifts further away from Sean when he realizes each day that he is in a world alone.
A LITTLE BIT OF magic and a little bit of horror is as good a way as any, to sum up this feature-length film from Steven Helgoth. Say Goodbye to Hollywood opens up with a wizard doing a card reading, for crying out loud! If I needed anything more to open my eyes to the fact that this film had some fantasy elements, I would need to commit myself. But after the magic-themed opening, things take a turn for a while before returning to Say Goodbye to Hollywood's magical premise. In more than a few ways, this movie reminded me of the mini-series The Stand, but thankfully not a carbon copy.
HELGOTH IS COUNTING ON PEOPLE'S FAMILIARITY WITH OUR CURRENT PANDEMIC...
The hero or anti-hero, if you prefer, is Sean (Michael Collins), and he's anything but your typical heroic lead. Sean lives on the L.A. streets after leaving his home and everyone in his past life. An argument can be made that he just got scared due to upcoming life commitments, but in the film, he simply states he felt he had to go. Sean really does seem like "that" guy who is easily scared off and never finishes much. The guy other "upstanding" folks scoff at. The way I see it, based on Collins' performance, is that Sean is a little of both types of people. Nevertheless, here he is. Witnessing the end of the world, even though, like many things in his life, Sean was asleep for the bulk of it.
Now, let's factor in the Hazmat people, who are not only the new law but also the judges, juries, and executioners. I won't go into much detail here because I want to keep this film as spoiler-free as possible. But from the start of the movie, it's clear that the world is moving on (another reference from The Stand), and people are going to have to choose. There are a lot of Covid-19 similarities in this film, and without a doubt, Helgoth is counting on people's familiarity with our current pandemic protocols and situations. It makes this film that much scarier.
I ALSO ENJOYED THE CRAZY PERFORMANCES OF SOME OF THE HOMELESS CHARACTERS...
Rounding off the cast are some great supporting characters, including a pet rat/mouse! I really loved that! The mouse is considered one of Sean's guides. There's also a commune of women and a woman (Balta Monkiki) Sean meets who helps him out on the way. I also enjoyed the crazy performances of some of the homeless characters. More for their initial appearances before the film gets full spiritual/fantastical.
THE FEELING THERE'S A LOT LEFT UP TO FATE IS THICK, BUT THEN THERE'S AN ATMOSPHERE OF CHOICE INTRODUCED.
When watching this film, the feeling that there's a lot left up to fate is thick, but then there's an atmosphere of choice introduced as Sean's journey onward. Was he really meant to be there, and was this story why he left his home? What's the deal with the Hazmat guys, and just how do guides fit in? Most importantly, how does the wizard factor into this story? There's only one way to find out: to watch your screens for Say Goodbye to Hollywood updates and release dates. You can find their socials at the start of this write-up. Two thumbs up from me.
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