Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zero Charisma Film Review

Zero Charisma is comedy about a nerdy game master and the fringe RPG gaming world he inhabits. The plot is a slice of life of the main character, Scott Weidemeyer, and how the close knit RPG group he runs begins to fall apart once a new artsy hipster type fills a suddenly vacated slot in the gaming party. The loss of his house, where he games, is threatened too.

Certainly the hook of the film is nerdy RPG world and social misfits that often (guilty as charged) inhabit it. Some who see the film and actually play RPGs might take offense, as the film clearly pokes huge amounts of fun at this world and the people within it. I myself was not offended, (little offends me) and I was able to see the truth and exaggeration in the film simply as sort of love letter to the way the RPG world can often be, is often perceived, and the nebulous reality in-between.

Any group of people can be made fun of. Sports groups, artists, car enthusiasts, etc, will all have fanatics embedded within. The film was obviously made by people who love RPGs and just embraced and exaggerated the nerdier aspects of how gaming groups can sometimes be.

The actual plot of the film could easily be lifted out of the RPG setting and overlaid onto any group or social network of friends. Once the new hipster character, Miles, enters the mix, the dynamic begins to change, and Scott, someone who likes being in charge, is distraught by the unraveling of his cloistered reality. The nerdish group enjoy Miles creative and extrovert type  personality as well as his many apparent accomplishments. Scott is not impressed and tries desperately to hold his world together. I'm not going to explain further but for me the crux of why this film is great lies within the social dynamic that plays out as the story progresses. Simply making fun of RPGs is good for some laughs but what the creators of this film understand is that you need depth and emotion to have a film that will have some staying power.

The film often gets deadly serious—a quality all great comedies possess—and is definitely in the realm of the black comedy.

I loved the film. It's not the best film ever made, but it is unique and for what it sets out to do, it succeeded with flying colors.  5 D20s! A Critical hit!

The film is a must see for anyone who enjoys a good comedy, especially if you play and/or enjoyed RPG games at any point in your life.