- BOTTOM LINE
For A Few Silly Laughs Only
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
Between Two Ferns: The Movie is a spin-off of a web series of the same name. Zack Galifianakis hosts it. The show comprises of awkward conversations between the host and celebrity guest.
The film is a road trip version of the online show where celebs are interviewed on the go. It also connects to a story of Zack wanting to become a popular late-night chat-show host. Where and how it ends is what Between Two Ferns: The Movie is all about?
Zack Galifianakis is terrific as the bumbling idiot with an awkward and bizarre sense of humour. He is literally the anchor of the whole exercise. It is on his performance alone that the entire narrative rests and he pulls it off in his usual style.
There is nothing to complain as far as Zack goes. He does all he can in the capacity of an actor. But, can one watch him alone for eighty minutes continuously doing his usual is the real question. That is where the content lets him down as it turns repetitive and uninteresting after a point.
Scott Aukerman directs Between the Ferns: The Movie along with providing the screenplay and co-writing it with Zack Galifianakis. He is also one of the directors of the original web series. Suffice to say he knows the world and what they are doing.
The setup of the movie is the same as the show. It takes a documentary approach to narrate the story. Initially, we get a background detail and low down on the various characters involved with their quirks. While doing all this, there is the usual interview going on as well.
The first act is neat, and it helps us understand what makes goes behind the making of an episode funnily. At the same time, it also establishes the ‘sell-out’ arc that would come towards the end, and a road trip to reach that end. It all creates interest to see what lies ahead.
The road trip sequences are where the movie loses its plot as tries to be different things all at once. The bonding between the misfits, while continuing the interviews and weird conversations and various other issues are running parallel or come one after the other. It makes one lose interest in the proceedings.
What also doesn’t help the cause is the visible formula amidst all this. There is a sense of mocking and simultaneously seriousness that is hard to process as a viewer. Still, there are some genuinely engaging moments like the one in the bar where each member expresses their feelings. It feels genuine, but a few scenes later, the whole thing looks mundane with many clichés on the way (intentional or otherwise). This inconsistency in tone never lets Between Two Ferns raise above the material.
The ending has a point to make, but that lacks impact. It just goes about like everything else that has preceded it up until that point. Most of the celeb interviews are fun, though.
Overall, despite a sincere effort by Zack Galifianakis, Between Two Ferns never becomes more than the sum of its parts. Even with a short run time, it feels longer.
Lauren Lapkus, Jiavani Linayao, and Ryan Gaul round off the other primary characters, besides Zack Galifianakis, in the movie. They all give a certain vibe and impression with their looks and details. That itself is most of the job done as far as performances are concerned. As a bunch, they all look alright.
Will Ferrell is his usual self and funny in his unique style. There is nothing new from him, but he makes it work nonetheless. The rest of the movie comprises of stars doing cameos which are aplenty. It happens to be one of the primary reasons to get interested in the film in the first place.
Music and Other Departments?
Alex Wurman has provided the music which is likely to go unnoticed. The songs used in the background are impressive. The one towards the pre-climax where everyone bonds have the best impact. The cinematography by Benjamin Kasulke is decent, considering the documentary-style chosen for the narrative. The writing by Scott Aukerman and Zack Galifianakis is the best part of the movie, whether it works for an individual or not. It is silly, awkward and endearing at the same time. It works like a charm on the web, but as part of a narrative, it gets crippled adhering to a formulaic structure.
Fun And Emotional Scenes in Parts
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, very few parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with huge reservations
Between Two Ferns Review by Siddartha Toleti