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The Disaster Artist: A Story of Making The Worst Film Ever
[ Issue 159 Page 1 ] Friday, January 12, 2018, 23:37:07 Duman Kuandyk Staff Reporter duman@kaist.ac.kr

January 7 was the D-day for the filmmakers. On that day, James Franco won the Golden Globes award for Best Actor in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.

Tommy Wiseau, the producer, director, screenwriter, and the main actor of The Room, did his best to promote the film, which in 2003 was shown in cinemas so that it could be nominated for the Oscars. The reception of the movie was totally opposite. The film was rated 9 out of 100 points on Metacritic. However, the movie’s absurdity made it so popular that it quickly became a cult film. The Disaster Artist tells us the story of how The Room, which is now believed to be one of the worst — if not the worst — films, was made.

   
James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist

The film starts with a series of random reviews about The Room. One of the reviewers says, “If you were to ask the five best filmmakers in the world right now to make a movie like this, it wouldn’t even be in the same universe.” It is difficult not to agree with that statement, because The Room was so bad, that its badness cannot even be reproduced in any way possible.

Though The Disaster Artist is about The Room, one cannot ignore the role of Tommy Wiseau, who, after all, was the filmmaker. Tommy Wiseau is a very unique man. He has a very strange Eastern European accent. He dreams about becoming famous in the film industry. Whether he wants to become a famous actor or a film director, it does not matter. Tommy wants fame. But fame, unfortunately, does not want Tommy. After countless attempts of trying to make it into Hollywood, Tommy recalls that he is a rich person. There is a saying that tells us, “When nothing goes right, go left.” Tommy decides to go left, but he makes a horribly wrong turn. This is where The Disaster meets The Artist.

Throughout the film, we see how Tommy’s personality affects the entire filmmaking process. The captions in the movie tell the number of days the filming had taken. Once it starts with “Day 1 of 40”, the viewer sees how, thanks to Tommy, it quickly becomes “Day 58 of 40”. The atmosphere in the studio can be described by one word, and that word is “catastrophe”. From the very first day of making The Room, one can easily see that something bad is about to happen. The production was nothing but an endless stream of troubles.

James Franco’s portrayal of Tommy Wiseau definitely deserved the award. Comparing the scenes from The Disaster Artist and The Room, I could see the striking similarity in Franco’s performance. The strange European accent as well as the eccentrical behavior of Tommy Wiseau allowed James Franco to behave as weird as he wanted to yet stay realistic at the same time. He played so well that at some point I saw not James Franco playing Tommy Wiseau, but rather Tommy Wiseau himself.

If one had watched The Room, one might have wondered if anyone in the production team realized that the movie was going to be a big fail. The answer was “Yes”. The Disaster Artist does a very good job in reconstructing events that happened behind the scenes. It is surprisingly hilarious to watch famous actors play the unknown actors who in their turn play the characters of The Room. Not only James Franco, but also Dave Franco, Ari Graynor as well as Josh Hutcherson perfectly portrayed “bad acting”. Most of the film is about observing how people tried to do their best to produce the worst. Indeed, watching the making of “emotional and dramatic” scenes induced nothing but unstoppable laughter.

The Disaster Artist is a story of a man pursuing his dreams, even though he does it in the most straightforward and terrible way possible. Despite being a comedy, it is a film about motivation, determination and persistence. It does not mock people who contributed to the making of The Room; instead, it supports and empathizes with them. The Disaster Artist tells us that everyone deserves a chance to get the glory, no matter who that person is. Even if that person made the worst film of all time.

Duman Kuandyk Staff Reporter Archives  
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