Don't Miss

Boulevard – Review


Release Date: 10 July 2015
Director: Dito Montiel
Writer: Douglas Soesbe
Cast: Robin Williams - Roberto Aguire - Kathy Baker



Sound & Music



Visual Effects

Total Score

User Rating
no ratings yet


Posted August 24, 2015 by

Full Article

Boulevard Review:

The death of Robin Williams took a lot of people by surprise. A perennial comedian whose occasional forays into serious roles were hit-and-miss, was a favourite among the young and old. His final live action film, ‘Boulevard’, was released posthumously in many festivals before getting a limited release in the US.

Boulevard’ is a melancholic feature focused on Nolan Mack (Williams) trying desperately to break free of the secret in his life. He’s lived with it for so long, it’s become a part of him, but on one particular day, when he drives down a different road, he decides to experience life as it should have been.

Nolan’s secret is made evident in the trailer, but I think the film would have achieved greater depth had we been kept guessing.

The mise-en-scène of the film is typical of this kind of story, full of muted colours, night shots, lonesome shots, aimless drives. The music is soothing and non-intrusive. The injections of levity are few and far between, but vital in lifting the spirit of the film and the audience.

I’m glad this film didn’t have Montiel’s usual flashbacks. I’ve seen two of his other films, ‘Empire State’ and ‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints’, and both included significant flashbacks. This film feels tangibly different from the other two. ‘Empire State’ was woeful story-telling, but managed to be incredibly entertaining, while ‘Saints’, which will always be memorable to me because of that ridiculously emotional kitchen scene with Robert Downey Jr., has some of this film’s wistfulness, and a whole lot more drama.

Speaking of drama, this film lacks any of it. It all moves along at an even pace. There’s something so familiar about this film that it’s hard to appreciate the effort that’s gone into it. We have an inkling how it will all end; we can predict the next scene’s outcome. It’s not for lack of trying on the actors’ and director’s part – but it’s just flat for the most part.

Williams puts in a subdued performance, believable as a man downtrodden by his own secret and the facade he has been putting up every day for over 25 years. Baker, as his resigned, lacklustre wife, is capable in her curtailed screen time. She falters only at the end, when she should have been giving her all.

The stand out, for the most part, was the young (or at least I think he’s young) Aguire. As Leo the hustler, his expression of resignation given any and every circumstance seemed utterly believable. The tension between him and Williams was often palpable – and one couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in the boy’s head as Nolan vents his emotions and sometimes his rage.

The overwhelming melancholy of the film suited its theme, which made the ending feel completely out of place, tonally that is. We do not begrudge the characters their final decisions, in fact, we can’t help but wonder what it may have been like had they made these choices earlier in their lives. However, it is so cheery that it feels unrealistic. Not everything falls into place that easily.

While watching ‘Boulevard’, I kept thinking back to ‘The Beginners’, a film that could have faded from memory but crops up from time to time, simply because all the melancholia was suffered by the straight guy, while the dying gay man was surrounded by brightness and light and cheerful hopefulness. It’s not the most accomplished film, but it gave us a new perspective on how to frame different relationships.

There’s a lot that ‘Boulevard’ could have achieved, but it comes across as hum-drum. Which seems to be Montiel’s signature style. This film isn’t impactful and is unlikely to be memorable. It may just continue in memory as a fitting swan song for Williams.


Read Similar Articles?…

[Review] – ‘Dark Places’
[Review] – ‘The Face of an Angel’
[Review] – ‘The Seventh Son’

Reviews | Joint Reviews | Articles | Debates | Promotions | Interviews |

Written by:


Lestat de Lioncourt
Random Thoughts – Lestat’s Blog
Freelance Contributor

Join The Debate! Leave us a comment…


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.