Though I do understand where they're coming from in the film, and I get the concept of why you might want to "Rent-A-Man," - but I am completely puzzled as to why you would want to rent THIS man. Honestly, this is one seriously odd movie, filmed in a bizarre style, with a weird idea that seems highly disconnected and a plotline that, like, somewhere around twenty minutes in, I began to wonder if we'd ever actually understand. "Rent-A-Man" is weirdly dialogue-obsessed in a way that you've likely never seen before, and while that could potentially be an asset, it tends to work against this film directed by Rafal Zlak. It feels like we're stuck in the desert with two chatty Cathys - who want entirely to talk but never really want to say anything at the same time. So we spend our time wandering the desert with these two main characters while we rack our brains trying to figure out what they're actually saying. They're shady people, that much we know, so they choose to leave out a lot of the details while dropping breadcrumbs and clues about the things they've done & places they've been.
I gotta be honest with you, I felt like this was beyond me… I'm brave enough to admit that. The further I got into "Rent-A-Man," the less I felt like I understood it. The dialogue seemed to wander as much as our main characters were, somewhat devoid of that tangible purpose we need from the viewers' side of things - to be able to figure out what the story truly IS. The quick cuts as they talked felt super distracting; the constant shots of the scenery were certainly gorgeous to look at - but ended up feeling like they were replacing a noticeable lack of substance. The music that was used never seemed to fit the scenes quite right. And we're getting close-up shots of things like pocket squares? What exactly are we doing here?
There is a significant amount of risk being taken here, and I'm not at all convinced it's necessary. I felt that Zlak continuously overcomplicated things where it wasn't required and oversimplified when the details were most crucial. Some of this dialogue is impressively unique, I'll give it that, but it could often seem very lopsided, with our "stylistic gangster" saying something interesting, only to get an "oh," "okay," or "yeah" in return from the "Rent-A-Man" representative. "Is it extra for an opinion?" asks our gangster – and around halfway through this movie, I felt like I was desperate to pay, just for some extra detail. Our gangster seems to be desperate to figure out what the "Rent-A-Man" is all about, and we start to wonder if that was why he chose to hire him. Things feel intensely jagged with the way that it's filmed - with short 'cuts' of dialogue and the visuals flipping between characters so quickly. It's not long before we're talking about Monopoly and board games, doing card tricks, and filming ear canals close up – so again, I ask ya, what exactly is it that we're doing way out here in the desert? "Rent-A-Man" is not only extremely tough to figure out what direction it's going in, if not impossible, but it's also taking a massive gamble on what the average everyday viewer would be able to stick with.
"Peculiar, isn't it?" Yes. Yes, it definitely is. The last thing I'd ever want to do is discourage someone from creating art or doing what they love, but as I got around two-thirds into "Rent-A-Man," I felt like I was never going to understand what this movie was trying to say. Our two main characters were never really able to get a rhythmic flow in their scenes, with each line of dialogue often being so short, fairly devoid of the kind of details that would help keep us engaged, and the visuals moving in such a strange way. When our main gangster decides to pay for more time with the "Rent-A-Man," we almost kind of cringe; this dude just wants to talk all day long, and he's willing to compensate for companionship. End of story? Is there more to "Rent-A-Man" than that? Zlak has us begging for some kind of lifeline in the plot, but after going so far on this walk through the desert, this movie seems to be as dry as the scenery. With the lack of substantial personality and informative answers from the "Rent-A-Man" representative, you have to wonder how much money this gangster really has to spend - or why he'd spend it on this! I don't know what he was promised through the "Rent-A-Man" service, but I'd definitely want a refund if I was him.
I have to admit that I'm somewhat shocked at how aimless this movie feels. Are we really here to discuss the fundamentals of Texas Hold 'em or the old gameshow Whammy? To borrow a phrase from "Rent-A-Man" – "okay?" This all feels like an attempt at presenting some kind of philosophy or psychology while seriously missing the mark - and seriously devoid of the details we'd need in order to be as interested in this as we should be. When the most engaging aspect of a film is the scenery we see, and it's not a geographical documentary, I think there are undeniable issues that should have been addressed.
Is that a grapefruit or an orange? That thing is HUGE! Was the "Rent-A-Man" really carrying that thing in his pocket the whole time? It seems like a trivial detail, and it is, but it's fairly metaphorical in terms of how nothing about this film made enough sense. The commitment it would take to follow through with this film is so astounding that it's actually impressive. "I" feel like the orange or grapefruit that the "Rent-A-Man" has squeezed the life out of, drained of all essence & left wondering how the heck I got here. I hate to say it, but I have a responsibility to call things as I see 'em - and unfortunately, there's just not enough here. The conclusion we reach, and the final twists in the plotline can't make up for the length of the journey and the time it took to get there. After all this, I'm left frustrated and going with one and a half stars out of five.