Velvet Buzzsaw – Review

Genre Supernatural, Horror
Directed by Dan Gilroy
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalia Dyer, Daveed Diggs, Billy Magnussen, John Malkovich, Mig Macario
Released on January 27, 2019(Sundance), February 1, 2019
Duration 113 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 6/10
Channel Netflix

I saw the trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw and laughed at the satire but winced at the slight gore. After seeing the trailer that one time, Netflix recommended the film so much to me, I decided to not watch it at all. That was a stupid decision.

I finally got around to watching Velvet Buzzsaw recently and I can safely say it’s strongly opinionated and definitely has the premise to strike a nerve among pretentious hipsters and professional artists alike – which it eventually did. But personally, I loved it. I can be a pretentious hipster at times if my playlists are anything to go by, but I can also take a joke – sometimes.

The entirety of Velvet Buzzsaw seems to be a poorly concealed jab at the modern art world. Although, I’m sure its unrealistic at times but it does have hues of reality in it that make it stick. In a world where scribbles called art are sold at six-figure prices we’re bound to think how far is it business before its just a vicious meaningless industry after all.

We land smack dab in the middles of all of this when Velvet Buzzsaw begins. We have renowned art critic, Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) as our central character. He’s clearly letting hus freak flag fly high and proud in this one. As a critic with the ability to make or break artists’ careers, he’s enjoying a comfortable life. Did I mention he accepts money for his opinion? He likes nudity but only his own not others – in which case he feels vulnerable. He’s slightly eccentric and rich beyond your dreams.

We then have Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo), a gallery owner. She’s pristine and clearly above you. She’s cynical and doesn’t care about anything (most of the time). Everything is pretentious and as characters on screen discuss art with terms you’ve never heard, just as you start to get bored things take a very gory turn.

Haze’s assistant, Josephina (Zawe Ashton) discovers her neighbor’s corpse and then his paintings. She hasn’t been able to push artists to her boss so she decides to try to sell the dead man’s art herself – against his explicit wishes that is. The man was a murderer and had left clear instructions that none of his art was to be seen or sold ever – it was to be destroyed instead. Josephina doesn’t care and decided to go ahead with selling the sinister art, that is until Haze finds out and tried to get in on the deals.

While everyone raves about the slightly creepy but apparently meaningful art, we can’t help but feel something is about to go very wrong. Once the pieces are sold, the film takes a sharp turn. The paintings seem to come to life – and then kill whoever’s around. Apparently, the dead man’s soul is doing it or something of the sort. Imagine being literally killed by art. Satire at its finest.

I think you should give it a shot. It may be loopy at times with a few loose ends but Velvet Buzzsaw is a good watch.

Video Credit – Netflix | YouTube

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