Mandy is a two-hour feature length movie starring Nicolas Cage as protagonist “Red Miller”. The movie was filmed on a six-million-dollar budget and bombed box office with a revenue of 1.4 million dollars. Mandy was met with critical praise and was scored by Johann Johannsson. Mandy was also the final movie for which Johann Johannsson scored before passing away.
The plot of the movie is relatively simple. For this reason, I will try to relay in a spoiler free manner; all the information that I relay will be obvious based on the trailers that have been publicly released. Red Miller is the husband of Mandy; they live a peaceful and lovely life by the lake. Mandy gets killed and Red Miller goes on a rampage.
Fans of Nicolas Cage would be well informed to shed the memes before watching this movie. Cage, despite his notoriety for over-performance, succeeds with flying colors in Mandy. He plays to his strengths, namely his ability to portray madness. During the action scenes, it would be well recommended to pay attention to Cage’s eyes. Seldom does he blink during his rampage; driving home the themes of anger and madness.
The cinematography is top-notch in that each frame lingers just long enough in order to convey a sense of gravitas. Action scenes are not littered with jump cuts so that the action is easy to follow and succinct in its delivery. One particular scene stands out, in which two faces are overlapped and melds in a trance induced fever dream. I will not divulge as that pertains to spoilers. The latter half of the movie plays like an LSD trip in their use of colours, which lends this movie its unique atmosphere and flavour.
Overall, Mandy is a fun movie that walks the thin railing between dumb-fun and genuine art. The artistic direction lends this film a unique flavour while the campiness of a typical medieval fantasy crammed into the 80’s era delivers a unique take on some of our favourite childhood fables. In short, the content is fun and entertaining, the cinematography is art.
For the sake of streamlining reviews and as much as I hate numbered scores, I will have to give Mandy a 9/10 for its artistic merit and fun factor. It isn’t philosophically ground breaking but for film buffs, this movie is a must watch.