Movie Review-Asylum (AKA – I Want To Be A Gangster)


Jack is a small time crook; him and his friend run a Russian roulette racket that helps them make money. Well one day one of the people they play against bets his boss’s money and drugs trying to not be the one to get shot, and loses. Well, the guy goes back to his boss and claims that the two guys jumped in and stole the drugs and money. So now Jack is caught up in a world of big time mobsters and more trouble than he could ever have predicted. After they kill Jack’s friend, he surrenders the drugs and money to them, and instead of killing Jack as well, they decide to make him part of their organization. Jack decides to double cross one mobster to go to another, and after a fatal mistake by Jack, he is now left in his own asylum which is being chained down to a tree alone in the middle of nowhere. This film is shot in black and white and in subtitles. This film plays out like a doomed fate, you see glimpses in the opening minutes of this fate Jack is heading towards, and you feel he himself knows he is skating on dangerous ice with the way he lives his life, but the plot and story are interesting enough that you stay involved and want to see how it all unfolds for him, and the fight of Jack vs. his surroundings.

I am a fan of the black and white art house films, and I feel black and white for this film just becomes a character in itself. You feel for Jack, because you know he is going over his head and you just wish he would think before he does anything, because when you get to know him, he seems like someone who is lost and was just looking for something to make him feel like he fits in. The hour with him tied to the tree was standard stuff, with a few little twists thrown in here and there. There is a scene that involves a dog and a hunter that finds him on the tree, but we find out that he is there to watch over him to make sure he is still on the tree. This film seems to love the theme of shooting, this film has a hard on for the use of guns, for people using guns on other people and themselves. The Russian roulette scenes in the beginning were very well shot and intense, as was the game the hunter plays trying to shoot at Jack’s hand. I just wish this film would have had more moments like those, the film had so much emphasis on Jack and that tree, that I felt it lost a lot of steam with the build to a climax that you had to guess was coming.

This film had a very cruel and nasty sense of humor at times that worked. It had a sense of direction in the beginning that got lost in the middle and tried to get back to in the end. The film had a great idea, but where the originality was in bits and pieces, the similar was all over the place, and I wish it would have tried to make it less similar to every other film, and tried to be different more. All in all, it was ok and I would probably watch this again. I would love to see more from this director and I really think that he has a good mind for film; he just needs more feature film experience.

7 out of 10