Demetri Martin’s ‘DEAN’ Review – Grief Management For The Modern Man!
Hey Geektown readers, I’ve been a bit slack recently as a film reviewer as real life really has taken over, but getting the opportunity to review ‘DEAN’, written, starring and directed by Demetri Martin, is the perfect film to return to. A story of grief and coping with it is obviously a complex and personal story and this was beautifully done by Martin. Punctuated throughout by Demetri’s artwork in his signature style, it is beautifully reflective of a modern take on a son and his father moving on from the death of Martin’s fictional mother.
Those who are not aware of Martin’s work, should hurry on down to Netflix and check out his ‘live’ programme as it is a perfect introduction to this creative and inspiring comic. The story is apparently inspired by the grief Martin dealt with at the age of 20 when his father died and this film won him an award at the 2016 Tribeca film festival. It is a shame that it has taken so long for this film to hit the UK because it is a lovely approach to the traditional drama genre.
We follow the story of Dean, an animator who lives in Brooklyn and is currently dealing with the loss of his mum. He is also trying to cope with his father’s decision to sell the family home and his recent ‘un-coupling’ from his fiancee Michelle. The story is helped by flashbacks to Dean’s past where some of his decisions were made in haste to satisfy an expectation from his mum. Supported by an amazing cast of Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Gillian Jacobs and Reid Scott, Martin is surrounded by excellence and Kline gives a really impressive turn as Robert. The style of this film is beautifully artistic and we are not overshadowed by any CGI or heavy soundtrack which makes the film so accessible and warm. There are some low moments in the narrative where you find the pace slipping so much that you could drift off, and there were times I got lost in my own thoughts so missed some of Martin’s felt-tip drawings.
The film is definitely a must-see, and if I was to be so brave, it is grief handling for men in a soft and tender way. Thank you Demetri…a Saturday afternoon well spent being able to reflect on life, love and most importantly… loss.
Check out an exclusive little clip of the movie below.
‘DEAN’ is available on digital download in the UK now.
Gray has been teaching Media and Film studies for 11 years now, and saturates himself in a world of TV and Film. Can most regularly be found with his iPad bingeing on a TV series whenever there is a spare moment between planning and marking. Gray has 3 years of writing experience for exam boards and educational resource companies too.