In a time when originality in film continues to fade as we drown in remakes, reboots and superheroes, filmmaker Tim Mielants is here to save the day with one of the quirkiest films of the decade. The film takes place in a Belgian nudist colony following the death of the camp’s handyman’s father. What follows is a bizarre 90 minutes in which our grieving hero (Kevin Janssens) embarks on an adventure to recover his favourite hammer that has mysteriously vanished.
With a tone and delivery that is at times uncomfortably unusual, the film doesn’t feel too dissimilar to cult favourite The Greasy Strangler. Delivering pitch-black humour, tragedy and a startlingly constant onslaught of nudity, Patrick is a film that certainly isn’t going to find a particularly big audience. But those that spend 97 minutes in this Belgian colony’s company will surely have a time they won’t forget in a hurry – for better or worse…
Patrick is at its core a study of loss and grief. There are some surprisingly poignant touches to the story with our hero’s missing hammer becoming something of a metaphor for the loss of a loved one. But before the film gets too sentimental, some bizarre occurrence will remind you that this isn’t just another grief drama. One delirious sequence towards the end of the film sees a fully nude fight break out inside a cramped mobile home, in what is surely one of the most ridiculous fight scenes in cinema history.
The film does begin to run out of steam in its final act as its outlandish narrative and eccentric delivery tests the audience’s patience. It is a truly bizarre film that is often uncomfortable to watch. But that’s not to say the film isn’t enjoyable on the whole – on the contrary, it’s certainly a solid and entertaining film. But mileage may vary depending on your sensibilities; if the plot synopsis alone doesn’t raise a smile or some curiosity in you, you’re probably not going to have a good time with Patrick. If, on the other hand, you’re the sort of person who loved The Greasy Strangler and have a twisted sense of humour, you’ll love it.
Patrick will almost certainly divide audiences, but those on the positive camp will absolutely love it. It’s one of the quirkiest films in years.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the film’s distributor Anti-Worlds is releasing the film in the UK as a VOD title. They say, “in these strange times independent cinemas are in need of all of our support. By choosing to stream Patrick via a bespoke link, 50% of all revenue will be shared with the venue”. For more info, visit www.anti-worldsreleasing.co.uk/pages/patrick