Private Desert

Private Desert ★★★

my theory going in was that it was gonna be either about a guy or a place called Private Desert but guess not

Decent. It had its moments, especially the Drive My Car -style extended prologue followed by the beautiful roadtrip montage.

The perspective shift in the middle, while a functional artistic choice, lacked some of the punch it could have had if Daniel had been even more of an ambiguous character; it didn't really feel like we were learning something new by seeing him through the eyes of another character. There was a lot about him that you could have recontextualized this way, but it felt like everything had already been said in the first half. I just imagine that it could have been a lot more interesting to only hear more about the trial later, for instance, not to mention that Daniel's desperation was portrayed in a pretty extreme way from the beginning.

Also, it didn't really culminate satisfyingly, with the climax just feeling kind of sudden – when Total Eclipse of the Heart started playing again, my honest reaction was "come on, have we really earned this?" It could also just have been just too soft and wholesome for what previously felt like a certified Messy Dudes Being Messy movie.

Antonio Saboia's performance was perfect, though, and Pedro Fasanaro was also very good, so it's not like it was all bad. Felt like both understood the material very well with their restrained, naturalistic takes on the characters.

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