Adam Bertocci’s mockumentary, Go Scratch: A Dreamer’s Documentary, tries to tease out whether a good person, or karma in general, has any bearing on luck. In this case, luck as embodied by lottery scratch tickets, as each of the four subjects of the film are given twenty-five scratch tickets, costing $1 each, and asked to scratch them while answering questions about their lives.
It’s an interesting idea, seeing if, for example, the cynical, rude and direction-less Tori (Lindsey Carter) will be more or less lucky than the happy, optimistic Kelly (Becky Byers), or how artsy dancer Beth (Shiloh Klein) stacks up luck-wise against academic Zéphyrine (Brianna Tyson). If luck was indeed something that could be influenced by karma or personality, you figure we’d see it played out amongst these personalities.
Except the entire ordeal is undermined by the fact that these are actors playing a role. Thus, as an experiment, it’d be far more interesting if it was an actual documentary, and these were actual personalities and not affected performances. I’m not saying the results would be different, mind you, but the entire project would be more intriguing.
Because, when you know it’s actors in a role (and it feels false and affected long before the end credits confirm that fact), then you look at it as entertainment, and the results as doctored, but for what purpose? What is the film trying to say about personality types, karma, luck or occupation, if anything, by going this route?
When it’s a documentary experiment, it can be whatever the results dictate. But when it is scripted, then presumably there’s a point to be found here and… what is it? The characters aren’t terribly interesting, nor is what they have to say. The set up is “will they win, and how much?” and that’s pretty much all you want to know. Nothing anyone says elevates the situation beyond that basic curiosity.
The film does look good, however; there’s no denying that it’s a well-shot film. Many a mockumentary thinks that being documentary-like means employing a lot of shaky camerawork; this one seems to get that most documentarians want their films to be in focus and easy to follow, the higher quality the better.
Ultimately, the film’s intriguing aspects are letdown by its falseness, and the result otherwise isn’t all that entertaining, especially not for twenty or so minutes. Try this again, as an actual documentary at maybe half the running time, and maybe it’s a different story. Again, maybe the results don’t change, but the reality might reveal something more interesting than what could be written.
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