Director: Alexander Cooper
Writers: Alexander Cooper, Gerard Maurez (story development)
Stars: Alexander Cooper, Veronika Dean, Janine Nerissa
Plot: An impressionable Launceston Elliot comes under the spell of the iconic Sandow The Magnificent. He seeks out his idol and becomes his protégée.
Running Time: 1 hour 44 Minutes
Random Thoughts: So Sandow is a small indie film playing the festival circuit and is directed, written by Alexander Cooper and he also plays Launceston Elliot in the film, it’s his dialectical debut.
What I Like: So this is a bio-pic told in flashbacks and it’s a period piece late 1800′s to early 1900′s. I like the fell of the film I think the time period comes off well and I fact that Sandow is a strongman but not one that works in the circus and travels the world and is of course larger than life.
Timo Kerviven does a good job as Sandow, he strikes the pose very well and also does bring some depth to the character. Sandow’s story is pretty much stock he longs to impress his father who is not only gone but never seemed to believe in him but also with the Daddy issues he has this need to be not only known but be larger than life. One aspect of the film is that Sandow pretty much lives the style he drinks, he does drugs he sleeps around but you get the sense he does that cause it’s what one does to be famous and to be known. The film also throws in Ziegfeld played by Oliver Maigniez, yes I that Ziefeld, he basically discovers Sandow and starts him on his path.
The film does do something different where it’s not just Sandow we met Launceston Elliot who becomes Sandow’s protegee, Elliot is an Olympic athlete and kind of a ying to Sandow’s yang. So we see Sandow not only preforming but also start his own fitness routine’s. He wants to be all things. The film does do a decent job of trying to show Sandow from different angles he’s not good or bad, he’s flawed, driven and at the end someone who wants to be remembered.
What I Didn’t Like: The film needed to be tighter, cut out about 10-15 minutes and I think you have a sharper film, too many scenes kind of drag and loose their momentum. The lack of a budget does hinder the film at times, I give them full credit because you can tell they’re milking every penny and of course more money would have helped, there were some technical stuff that would have been better if they were cleaned up.
The period was different and what Sandow does for a living is different but his story is not only stock but very cliched, of course he gets married and of course it doesn’t go well and that part is pretty much paint by the numbers we’ve seen it so many times before and nothing new was added and I did think the wife was not only under written but wasn’t given enough to do she seemed more of a plot point that a fleshed out character.
Final Thoughts: There is stuff to like here and it’s always nice seeing a new director’s work, this is filmed very much in an old fashioned way and I liked it for that, it had flaws but I do think it was interesting. I do wish that they would have broken some of the bio-pic cliches.