Rarely does an actor play a role so close to home as the notoriously troubled Charlie Sheen does in the film, “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.” With little clarity in its plot, mediocre-at-best acting performances and an unclear genre, writer and director Roman Coppola’s latest venture is an utter disappointment.
The plot of the film follows the downward spiral of a daydreaming graphic designer, Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen), whose girlfriend Ivana (Katheryn Winnick) has recently left him. Faced with health problems and financial woes, Swan must try to rebuild himself while also grappling with his troubled love life. Helping him on his journey is friend and comedian Kirby Star (Jason Schwartzman), who attempts to steer Charles in the right direction.
The acting in the film is interesting in that it contains so many talented actors, with Bill Murray as Swan’s business manager, who barely manages to shine at all. Though Sheen essentially plays himself as a drug- and party-obsessed character, his performance still falls short. His acting contributes little comedy or emotion to a story that is supposed to be a comedic tale of an emotional downfall. In addition, both Schwartzman and Murray seem to place little energy in their roles, with monotonous delivery and minimal emotion or motivation. Winnick does an acceptable job in her role and as a result is able to still come out as being better than the rest of the ensemble, though her performance isn’t particularly memorable.
Coppola’s script for the film also fails as a far-too-convoluted story that, on its own, doesn’t seem to hold the audience’s interest. Employing countless gimmicks such as flashbacks and breaks of the fourth wall, Coppola includes an onslaught of interruptions in the story that make it nearly impossible to establish a flow. The unrealistic dialogue also disrupts the course of the story and inhibits any connection between the audience and the characters on the screen.
Likewise, Coppola’s direction of the film is equally deplorable in its over-conceptualization that clouds the story. Too often Coppola includes some directorial choice, such as an awkward camera angle or an unrealistic turn of events, which causes the film to come off as almost idiotic. Among the most memorable examples was Coppola’s decision to include a song break where Sheen and Winnick sing a poorly performed Spanish ballad.
The only real point where the film succeeds is in its soundtrack, which was beautifully composed by Liam Hayes. The songs, some of which were written for the film and some from Hayes’ own albums, are lyrically sweet, rhythmically catchy and prove to be the only positively memorable aspect of the film. The outlier in this brilliant score is Sheen and Winnick’s unnecessary song.
The only positive choice Coppola made was limiting “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” to a merciful 86 minutes. Through its poor acting, writing and directing it is clear that this film will not be the vehicle for Sheen’s comeback or a winning cinematic experience.
Confusing plot, lackluster acting and unrealistic script in film, “A Glimpse Inside the Mild of Charles Swan III.”