Wonko

2.05
Average: 2.1 (7 votes)
The Musical OR Dance Movie
Christchurch > 08

oh boy oh boy oh boy

- Nice song, the warping of the film while you were walking down the path was a bit strange but it was a good effort with the song
- At first I thought it was a dance movie - I actually think if you had focused in on the clowns ability to make people happy and dancing for the whole time this would have been a really interesting concept
- The ending seemed a little out of place, quite shocking, but I mean you got a good laugh from the audience so cudos for going all in with that I suppose

There was a surprising amount of clowns in ChCh 48hours this year...

MistaTeas
3.01

Wonko is not a very happy clown but he does seem able to infect others with (manic) happiness.

Limited dialogue used in this which I respect as a choice. The guy playing Wonko was pretty committed to the role. The story itself is not overly strong but at least it finished up with a happy ending.

Good stuff!

Firstly, a really committed and convincing performance from the lead actor. The idea of everyone he came into contact with being filled with joy and dance was a really good way to handle the Musical/Dance genre, which is very difficult for a lot of people. I enjoyed the song, and the long single shot during it. I'm not sure the end was the most fulfilling way to wrap it up, but the party-popper/confetti canon was a fun way to visualize him getting his jollies :)

In which we have a tale about, um... how self love can improve your mental health? This was one of the more curious entries in Heat 8, but curious in a way that stuck in the memory. The rapidly cascading fonts for the "Wonko" title card was a nice flourish to start thing off, after which we met the (presumably) titular character, a sad clown moping about his life. He lives alone, always wearing clown costume and makeup. He goes to the supermarket, but is demonstrably "other" from everyone else, with a sort of Midas touch thing going on where everyone he touches gets overcome with uncontrollable rhythmic laughing (directed at him). He sings a song on his way home, with the rest of the cast dancing around him. He goes home, and eventually we arrive at an unexpected but memorable clown confetti cum climax to the story.

The story itself is kind of vague, and I couldn't exactly tell you what was happening at all times. I interpreted Wonko's clown-ness as metaphor for feeling different and separated from other people. I loved the stylistic choice of how the people moved their bodies after they came into contact with him - the jerkily rhythmic movements reminded me quite a lot of that ridiculous (but also can't-stop-watching) Skibidi music video. That stylisation was cool, and I kinda wish we could have seen more of that sort of thing. There was only really one song in the film, handled as a single shot following the character walking, with other people dancing around and behind him. It was a simple idea but worked quite well to establish his state of mind. The party popper cumshot itself was, despite my crude descriptions, actually rather artful, almost beautiful.

There was an odd lingering shot early on when the POV camera moved from keys in hand to computer screens and back; I guess meant to show his dilemma of whether he should go out and interact with the world, or just stay home and live online. Which I guess ultimately was the thesis of the film, meaning that where it's ended was actually quite a nice variation on what you'd expect: no, sometimes it's okay to just stay at home alone and take care of after yourself. Maybe.

Anyway, lots of intriguing moments and elements here, and going forward I'd encourage the team to stay playful with their filmmaking, and lean even more into the weirdness.

Heck of a film with a hell of an end point. (Weird)

The musical dance number on the move was quite something. Bolder musical stylings than most 48hours musicals attempt. Bravo team.

I have a feeling there’s more under the surface and in the writing of this film than made it to the finished product. Or perhaps I’m just not picking up on everything they put down.

Great performance from the lead.

Alexander Jones
city manager

There are a lot of ideas going on in this film, and just when I thought I worked out what the premise was, it changed completely.

Is it about a sad clown? Is it about a clown who whenever he touches someone they start dancing? Oh no its both of those things and also he can't masturbate.

Was the fact he couldn't masturbate supposed to be clear from the beginning? Because I didn't catch it if so.

The balloon animal gag was great. The song was pretty well done too. A lot of potential in this team, I think the storytelling just needs to be a bit more focused.

TITLE REVIEW: Wonko is a great title!

Agree with all thats been said above. I enjoyed this film and really appreciated your commitment to both Musical AND your acting by the lead character. I liked the idea of an unhappy clown, and then it seemed to be going in the direction of a really cool take on showing depression on a person who brings joy to everyone else and outwardly appears with a happy facade to the world but is tortured on the inside. With out getting too dark on it I felt like this was heading in that direction and in many ways was going to be a great poetically interesting way of showing a tragic parallel to the story of the likes of Robin Williams for example.

And then that ENDING! haha

So I also loved the bonkers idea of this ending and the visuals of the confetti canon was pure genius! I guess all this film needed was to commit a bit more either way to its setup. More emphasis on him trying to find "happiness WITHIN his self" or some sort of double meaning innuendo in the first half. Or gone for a more dramatic ending.

As it is there's a lot to like about this film and I had a good laugh watching it and am excited by the potential of this team in the future.

Galen
2.03

No real semblance of a story here, seems from the other reviews that people are drawing various conclusions on what you were attempting to convey. I found it just depressing with an ending that didn't fit with the rest of the story. I think there's a lot of intrinsic potential when making a clown movie but this was a mish mash. There was an excellent clown film in Christchurch this year "In Jest" by Rocket Boy Films although the clown was the only thing these films had in common.