Rendezvous with Madness 2017: Our Review of ‘The Transfiguration’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, RWM 2017 by - November 07, 2017
Rendezvous with Madness 2017: Our Review of ‘The Transfiguration’

I’m not The Transfiguration‘s biggest fan but I will say that it knows how to begin. It shows us Bronx teenager Milo (Eric Ruffin) sucking someone’s blood. I can’t help but feel bad for that businessman in that subway bathroom. There’s something deliberate and human in the way Ruffin depicts Milo’s actions. His approach differs from the animistic portrayal of vampires in film. To clarify, I guess by virtue of sucking blood, Milo is a vampire.

It’s more drama than horror. Which would be interesting. That said, the lulls in between Milo’s kills are just that. They’re anticlimactic decrescendos that makes us wish that there was more. I’m not asking for a rampage movie, mind you. But the film follows a lot of horror television today. Shocking moment, then a lot of pointless conversation that’s supposedly character building, repeat. And in the downtime scenes we see him with an abused girl.

Her name is Sophie (Chloe Levine), and he forms a relationship with her. There’s a lot here that’s relate-able. I’m saying that as a person of colour who is weird. Who is watching a person of colour who is weird. The film is mumblecore-y enough so it skates above revealing how archetypal the ‘ghetto’ characters are. Even Milo’s brother Lewis (Aaron Moten) was pushing it, although the actor isn’t at fault for that.

There’s just something off in director Michael O’Shea’s depiction of this fictional world, feeling too much of an authentic facsimile. Despite of this, elements within the film hint of O’Shea’s potential to make more interesting ones. If there’s a reason to watch the film it’s for Ruffin and his character Milo. Both show the nuances within Milo as a sociopath. He uses his face efficiently, opting to normalize him instead of hiding behind a mask.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.