By Rory L. Aronsky | September 8, 2005

With a heavy push from “Amelie”, “Wishtaker” wallows in its own whimsy, in a park and in front of a fountain where various people throw coins in, hoping for the best in their lives. A next-door neighbor, nursing plants, (Suzanne Grzanna) hopes for rain, and the convenience store worker (Jeremy Belier) listening to her decides to do something about it later. A boy from a private school doesn’t want to be beat up anymore by a taller girl. A businessman feels that he doesn’t need that kind of luck. A coin won’t do it for him since he obviously has everything he could want that the homeless guardian of the park (Matty Michaels) doesn’t have. People are shallow, crude, uncouth, ruthless, and at one time or more in our lives, we wish that something in our lives would surface in order to benefit us, make us happier, make us richer.

“Wishtaker”, even in trying its best to illuminate with bright colors, facets of characters which pop right out at you (such as the boy’s black eye), and wishes being reversed only serve to make the stories even more glum. Watching these characters feels like sitting on a bench at Santa Monica Beach, watching and listening to the verbal arguments at the checker tables in front of the run-down apartment building. Sitting there long enough, all the words blend together, sounding the same over and over again. The ragged people are fervent in their words, but interest runs out long before they finish. That’s “Wishtaker”. It’s just another day in front of the wishing fountain. Sometimes wishing just doesn’t do it. It feels more like a thick sigh than a smile.

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