Indie Film Review “Adventures of A Happy Homeless Man”



First, the Recap:

Yeah, you’ve really lost it all. Life was a solid career, a loving wife, money to provide and then some, a home–it was what it’s all about. But yeah, then it all went away and suddenly, it’s existence on the streets, scratching by, recalling the old days, doing anything to gain even enough to eat. So, what do you do when it’s all come apart? For Rafael (Felino Dolloso), now known as Bobo the Hobo, it appears to be all about making the most of the aforementioned state of being via humor and a passionate pursuit of women, especially since he’s “a safe man”, and music. Of course, actually being able to find those willing to give him a shot at either endeavor–that’s a tough sell.

Randomly encountering people such as Tori (Demitra Alexandria) and her stepbrother Jonah (Jorge Cortes Atanacio) who are looking for a guitarist to fill out their punk rock band, Dwayne (John Gomez Goodway), a musician Bobo wants lessons from, Alan (Rico Banderas), a drug dealer with a rather unorthodox business model, wanna be actress Denise (Iwona Abramowicz) with whom Bobo wants to go-go with, as well as movie producers Sebastian and Gemma (Jemwel Danao & Eliza St. John), it’s evident Bobo only wants to score and become famous. Additional interviews with his ex-wife Felicia (Aleksandra Voronina) and former co-worker Gus (Nathan Bowen) shed further light on a man who needs to grow up, bounce back, and find his mojo again.

Next, my Mind:

It’s with mixed sentiment this reviewer approaches thoughts about writer/director/co-producer/co-editor Dicky Tanuwidjaya’s 99-minute mockumentary effort, more specifically from the standpoints of absolutely lauding the creativeness in execution, characters offered, and overall narrative design while still having to allow personal preferences to also claim disappointment in there having to be the high amount of bawdiness in comedic stylings/delivery that it constantly seems like nobody wants to steer away from anymore when it comes to contemporary humor. Now, sure making a documentary-style effort that follows a happily horny homeless man isn’t going to be all wine and roses, but to have so much of that bend to events at the forefront all the way through was distracting for me, stealing away some of the entertainment I wanted to feel. As mentioned above, though, the characters explored here are wonderful and intentionally exaggerated versions of the kinds of people out there in this world, perhaps even some of whom you yourself have met or know, and it does add an interesting, albeit quirkily so, relatability to the film. It’s humanity at its lowest and highest points in many respects, and the big surprise here was a finale that very effectively plays the heartstrings, which isn’t in itself anything I would have expected.

As to performances, there isn’t any denying the deftness in acting with which Dolloso portrays Rafael (again aka: Bobo the Hobo), a man who’s lost everything and now playfully struggles to make ends meet on the streets, with the help of friends and a dream of reconciliation with his beloved wife, while also pursuing a music, no, acting, no, some kind of “career” he hopes will catapult him back into her good graces. Dolloso makes this character so overtly believable in attitude and action throughout, that you might honestly have believed this was an actual documentary rather than a satirical take on the concept. Bobo’s incessant bantering with everyone he meets is actually quite hilarious, but again, so filled with more colorful thematic elements that it became overkill for me personally, but to Dolloso’s credit, it’s as realistically raw as you might actually expect someone in the character’s position to be. As also noted above, supporting roles abound here, and it’s honestly easier to say in all truth that everyone does a solid job keeping up with the crazy star of the show as he wades through them, each getting to experience Bobo’s uniqueness whether asking for it or not. It’s all his show, and everyone else is really along for the wild, over-the-top ride he brings with him.

In total, “Adventures of A Happy Homeless Man” is very clever indie cinema, well-made, and a credit to the efforts and end products filmmakers with these kinds of limited budgets are able to achieve. But, when it comes to it being comedic endeavors, I still wish we could at least be willing to tame it down a little for the sake of eliciting laughs the old fashioned way–through good, clean, nutty, zany, ridiculous humor that still has intelligence, like this effort overall, behind it.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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