Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big Fan

Starring Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, and Michael Rappaport

Directed by Robert D. Siegel

Release Date: August 28th, 2009

Paul Aufiero is a die-hard New York Giants fan. He lives, breathes, and bleeds for his football team. Paul is even a regular caller to an AM radio show where he religiously defends his Giants with statements he prepares ahead of time. Soon, Paul sees his favorite player Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm) in Staten Island and follows him to a club in Manhattan. Once Paul mistakenly says he saw Quantrell and followed him, the football player savagely beats him. Now, Paul has medical bills to pay and the police are asking Paul for his statements regarding the incident. Will he sell out his favorite team? Sue Bishop for money? It's time for this 'fan' to show his true colors...

We've all been involved one way or another with competition in the field of sports. Such as when your favorite baseball team makes it to the World Series or jeering the rivals of your college football team. Therefore, it makes sense that a movie about the ultimate super-fan, the do-or-die people that stand by their teams, was a brilliant idea. The concept of where your loyalties ultimately lie is a great one. However, the film is not without its flaws. First, the main plot is stretched too far at times. Though I like the initial premise, I feel that there should be more to the film than just "Paul's a loser" or "Paul's a die-hard fan". Couldn't we see how the police feel about the incident? or maybe the Giants? I feel that by limiting the perspective on just Paul, it isolates the impact of the story. Second, at times I feel that Patton Oswalt is the only person putting in any effort. The rest of the cast is fine, but Oswalt is running the gambit between Paul in his happy haze of fandom and the spiraling lows of pressure, opposition, and fear. Oswalt is a strong actor and I hope he gets more opportunities like this to flex his dramatic muscles. Therefore, don't expect a lot from the supporting cast as they are merely that, supporting the lead.

Big Fan is a precautionary tale, where one's obsession can lead to dark and terrible places. It's a grim and bleak story where you don't root for Paul, you feel sorry for him.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 

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