An embittered, middle-aged narcissist tries to recapture his youth by dating much younger men. Unfortunately, his abusive ways cause a backlash he never expects.
Eric Casaccio’s newest film, Narcissist, is a short drama about a very brief romance between a sensitive young writer named Evan (Hunter Lee Hughes) and his debonnaire, much older, lover named Rob (Brionne Davis). A true romantic, Evan is head over heels in love with the handsome Rob, never seeing that the object of his affections is sociopathic and dangerous in more ways than one.
In terms of filmmaking, Narcissist is a most unexpected masterpiece, with a story that is both universal and heartfelt. As it happens, the situations that occur in the film concern gay men. What makes Narcissist powerful, however, is that sexual preference is not its focal point, since anyone who has loved, lost and loved again could very easily stand in for any of the characters involved. Casaccio is not only a storytelling force to be reckoned with, but he’s also a keen observer of society and its members. Most notable is the fact that Casaccio allows his narrative to unfold without melodrama and judgment— and that’s quite amazing for short-form cinema—or really, any movie!
Another really interesting aspect of Narcissist is that there are many side-stories of equal magnitude, yet none overwhelm any other portion of the tale. This powerful writing technique is so subtle in the film that it’s barely noticeable at all. I’m also extremely impressed with the acting in Narcissist, and the cinematography that drives home the movie’s stark realism.
In terms of weaknesses, some might think that a certain romantic scene between Rob and Evan runs a bit too long. At first I felt that way, too. However, upon careful reflection, I noted many intricate facets of the segment that portrayed an endless array of emotions. These range from innocence and desperation, to something no one should ever see or feel in a lifetime.
If Narcissist is an example of Eric Casaccio’s epic filmmaking capabilities, I stand in awe of any upcoming features he might bring to the big screen.
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