The Movie Waffler New to Amazon Prime Video - SNOWFLAKE | The Movie Waffler

New to Amazon Prime Video - SNOWFLAKE

snowflake review
A pair of hitmen discover a movie script that appears to dictate their own actions.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Adolfo Kolmerer, William James

Starring: Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Xenia Assenza, David Masterson, Alexander Schubert

snowflake movie poster

Scene: A dubious kebab shop, wherein a couple of young men, who are perhaps best described as ‘a bit shady’, are passionately discussing the ideal composition of a Doner. They bang on about sauce to meat ratios, and the acceptable inclusion of salad, before -PLOT TWIST! - the camera pans to reveal the other customers of the eatery, who have all been shot to death by the kebabsessed duo! Déjà vu alert: they’re a pair of hitmen who nonchalantly chat about fast food etiquette. Thus begins Adolfo J. Kolmerer and William James' pulp thriller Snowflake, in which a quartet of criminally inclined narratives play out and eventually converge in a meta-melee of violence (sound familiar?), as the two hitmen set out to hunt down the killers of their family.

snowflake review

Despite the over-familiarity of the opening (and the plot in general), there is a concession towards originality when the pair of hitmen happen upon a script. This screenplay seems to entail the actual narrative events which the two lads are experiencing, right down to the surprised dialogue which comes out of their mouths when they actually work out what is going on: words that are scripted upon the pages which they hold and which they are powerless not to relate. Yikes! This Borges-ian meta twist abides within Snowflake’s milieus of surreal dystopias and cyberpunk stylings. The film features existential Scotsmen who pack heat and who also just may be God and His Holy Son; a couple of Polish cannibals; some superhero mush who feeds on electricity. You get the picture…

snowflake review

The reflexive, mind bending practises of Snowflake make it the sort of film that would be cute and clever as a short, but which is ultimately, at two hours, rather patience stretching. Chapter headings (hmmm…) split the narrative up, and during one episode we are introduced to the titular Snowflake, an angel replete with big white feathery wings, who proceeds to navigate the kebab-lads through the underworld of Berlin (which, pleasingly, is reminiscent of a subculture Cabaret). The problem is though, with the primacy of its central conceit, the overriding concept of characters becoming aware of their fictionality and confronting their maker (a hobbying dentist who is just writing a screenplay for shits and giggles: Dada, man), Snowflake is rendered all a bit arch, and sadly nowhere near as clever as it hopes we think it is.

snowflake review

As the film progresses, its themes, with a weary sense of inevitability, calcify into Big Questions about our own existence and our relation to the God which made us. There is a Big-Bad hitman who quotes Bible verse before executing characters (sure I’ve seen that before), and, in a moment of juvenile blasphemy, Snowflake, a hegemonically attractive woman, willingly fellates a gun before being shot to gruesome death in the face. Look, if you are going to have a bit of a pop at the Christian church, at least get your facts right: there are no such thing as female angels. They’re all fellas! (if only the film-makers had studied the Scriptures with the same fealty with which they mined crime portmanteaus from 1994, amirite?). In a climate where the most insistent discussions concerning cinema seem to be what infinity stone Dr. Strange will use to right the Marvel universe, it seems churlish to use a film’s initiative against it, but Snowflake’s flurry of ideas too often creates a narrative blur, and the film melts before it even has a chance to settle.

Snowflake is on Amazon Prime Video UK now.