How does one even begin to write a review or a summation of Neil Breen's future disasterpiece #FatefulFindings when there is so much juicy goodness to highlight? This challenge may be more difficult than any driving test, job interview, university dissertation or drinking game combined. Neil Breen, you have successfully created a film that has well and truly left me speechless, but not in a negative way, as I have never witnessed a film quite like yours.
There's a lot of suicide in this film, to the point it's actually funny, and then you begin to question your sanity and thought process when you find yourself laughing at people killing themselves. To sum up the dialogue, and any given character's reaction to devastating news, Neil's character Dylan lets out the following upon finding his friend dead on the floor with a gun by his side:
Jim! Jim! *Long pause* I can't believe you committed suicide. I can't believe you committed suicide. How could you have committed suicide, how? I can't help you out of this one. Goodbye my friend.
To be fair, everyone reacts to death and loss in their own way, except Neil Breen. Breen likes to cradle the bodies of the deceased and wipe their blood on his face as if to feel a connection to them, whilst he lets out almost sexual groans that are meant to pass for pain and loss.
I have to give credit to Breen, as he has stated in past interviews that he demands a professional work ethic on set. He provides catering and transport and likes to ensure that a professional environment and organised production is at the forefront of his films. For that, I admire him, and considering he funds his own films, this man is clearly dedicated to film and wants to make sure his money is put to great use. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Breen should hire more costly crew members because the incredibly incompetent and badly crafted shots, sets, props and performances are not deserving of the money and time Breen puts in.
The man, bless his heart, cannot wring a single bit of authenticity or dynamic out of any performance he or his cast give, but the sad fact is, some of these actresses, particularly Klara Landrat who is undeniably giving it her all, clearly look like they thought this is there big break. In some ways this could be, mirroring how the cast of Tommy Wiseau's The Room have since garnered cult status as their characters from that film.
Victoria Viveiros, whose performance as Amy is mostly through the jiggling of her enormous assets, shouts every line of dialogue with strange pauses throughout and suddenly erupts into violence by throwing objects at her co-stars. David Silva, who I briefly thought was actually David Zayas, is hilarious as Jim, trying to play a drunk, sleazy husband. Danielle Andrade rounds out this trio of stars as the Aly, the daughter of Jim and Amy who has zero personality or expression, even her reaction to the death of her Dad is the most pathetic whimper as she yelps "Dad!" about a dozen times.
Breen himself is a phenomenon. Not only does he seemingly forget to direct his co-stars properly, nor frame them or give them any grounding in reality, he too acts like he's an alien who has been on Earth for about two weeks and is only recently starting to get the jist of human interaction, and don't even get me started on the sex scenes and physical interactions because Breen also doesn't understand how romance, seduction and sex works. Put it this way, his wife undresses and enters the shower with him whilst his body pours with blood and skin after an collision he suffered. There's also some weird seduction sequence in which his character Dylan and Landrat's Emily awkwardly try and tear each others clothes off whilst Dylan chucks paper up in the air like he just don't care!
Anyone get the feeling Breen hired young and attractive stars so he could get naked with them? Oh, it's abundantly clear Breen hates laptops, there's probably a dedicated compilation on YouTube for this film called "Fateful Findings Laptop Destruction Count".
In terms of story, structure and coherence, here is how I'd attempt to describe the events. When Dylan was a kid, he and his best friend Leah find a magic stone that blesses Dylan with powers. Jump to decades later and the two best friends haven't been in touch. Dylan gets hit by a car, but magically awakes from his coma. His best friend is killed by his wife who disguises the killing as suicide. His best friend's daughter tries to make sexual advances to Dylan because he is such a stud, isn't Neil Breen!? Dylan is also trying to write his next novel, but then, out of nowhere, we find out Dylan has been doing the following:
This line deserves to be big, colourful and quoted in large as above!
Breen's story has the attention span of a mentally challenged goldfish. One minute we have a film with a thin and aimless plot line that is suddenly birthed with this crazy revelation that finds key player Dylan hacking the government systems. Me and my best mate, who have weekly viewings of trash cinema flicks, found ourselves in utter hysterics whenever Breen mentions hacking, or the government, corruption or secrets. This film has a narrative, of sorts, but the way it's cut together and structured wanders like a drunk blind man in a desert, one minute you're watching a couple argue, then the next minute that very couple sat in a living room in the evening are then having a BBQ in the daytime with other couples in which the camera is filming their feet and the floor instead of them, which by the way is about 45% of the film, where the camera isn't focusing on the important objects or characters.
Technically, Fateful Findings makes The Room look like a cinematic masterpiece. Admittedly, Wiseau's The Room does have a filmic appearance, even the tacky music and largely pedestrian editing makes it feel like a proper film, albeit with so much inherent madness and shockingly bad acting and storytelling. Fateful Findings looks like it was shot on your Grandma's flip phone, I cannot recall a single moving shot because that would probably involve your arthritis-ridden Nan to fall and die.
So back to Neil Breen. His performance and the way he has chosen to edit conversations work against each other for maximum hilarity. Breen pauses for large lengths of time more than any human being. He stares longingly and sometimes creepily at his female co-stars, like in his head he's thinking "That's my girl", you'd think he was a low-key Joker, lusting after Harley or any girl near him, just without the energy, laugh, make-up or costume. Breen's lack of empathy, energy, personality, screen presence, devotion and authority means he's just this fella onscreen who can pull just about any woman on the planet, and also just a man lucky enough to be blessed with insane magnetism to women, magic powers and extraordinary hacking skills.
If you thought that the explanation of underage sex in #TransformersAgeofExtincion was bad enough, then check out this film, as Neil Breen's flick features a scene where the camera lingers on the would've been 19 year Danielle Andrade who takes her bra off and enters a pool whilst Breen's Dylan watches from afar and doesn't say or do anything. Yes it's explained after that Dylan is disgusted and devoted to stopping her from advancing him, but the way this scene plays out makes it feel dirty, uncomfortable and downright creepy.
If you're a lover of trash cinema, then Neil Breen is a man you must follow. He has four films now, with a fifth currently underway. Fateful Findings is a masterpiece everything you don't do when making a film. Breen is a being of extreme mystery and weirdness, and you should watch him now, nice and early, before the man takes off and everyone is hot on his tail.
This rating is a half and half, a five rewarded due to the reason it's so good, and the minus five because it's so bad.