‘The Fiction’ – a noble cinematic hat trick for any first time filmmaker
Directed by Danny DiLeo
Written by Danny Dileo
Rookie filmmaker Danny DiLeo’s breakout film, The Fiction, provides a triple delight, one part Alfred Hitchcock, one part Stephen King, and one part Rod Serling. In this ambitious effort as writer, producer, and director, DiLeo breaks both rules and boundaries, delivering an entertaining and lingering cinematic experience. Screenwriters are preached, often to the point of exhaustion to “write what they know, refrain from having people talk to themselves, and avoid dream sequences.” DiLeo breaks the rules with a twist-laden, thought-provoking plot line.
Lead character Werther Oaks’s (Eric Hammer) writer’s block echoes The Shining, with slippages into Being John Malkovich surrealism, while intellectually yanking us back with a plot thread akin to Secret Window. At times, this film’s dialogue came across as overly expository, but overall was sparse enough to let the story flow. The story delves into the minds of several characters, but to reveal the outcome would prejudice the viewer’s experience, one which extends beyond the film’s viewing time. The Fiction is a sophisticated physiological suspense thriller about tortured souls, sacrifice, memories, loss, and the redemptive cathartic power of storytelling.
The cast’s performances deliver, but more importantly, their chemistry draws the audience into the drama. Standout Jeff Savage, who plays several characters, convinces the audience in each of his transformations. DP Aram “Spike” Bauman visually enhances the film with varied shooting techniques, while advancing DiLeo’s vision to keep the audience actively engaged. Justin R. Durban’s original music assists in ratcheting up the suspense.
The Fiction, like classic Hitchcock, commands “icebox talk.” Years ago, when an audiences first went to see a Hitchcock film, afterwards they would go home and after a while would “head to the icebox” for a snack, and en route would comment on the story creating a conversation that could keep people up for hours debating and reflecting about what they had just experienced. Keep an eye out for this film on the festival circuit. Plan to be intellectually engaged, emotionally involved, and, ultimately, entertained – a noble cinematic hat trick for any first time film maker.