Emotionally driven, with a heart stopping reality punch
Chris Matty | Hillsborough, NJ | 05/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is excellent. It shows a true to life portrayal of what can happen to a man that is pushed to the edge. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys independent films and that wishes to see a film that doesn't hold anything back when it comes to showing a how the stress of life can push a man to commit the unthinkable."
Excellent Independent Film
snowleopard | Oregon | 08/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This independent, art-house film saw limited release in 1999-2000, but is not to be missed. It contains a powerful mix of tension, pathos, and social despair, as the lead character, Billy - a good person with too much stress from too many everyday problems, slowly succumbs to the difficulties of life. While not an easy film to watch, which is certainly why it missed the big theatres, it is an excellent film that achieves all it strives for, and is recommended to all fans of the independent genre."
CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE?
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 02/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"CHARMING BILLY is certainly a dark movie, but then again it's story is dark. We meet a handsome young man named Billy Starkman, who as we know from the start is going to end up on a water tower shooting innocent people. The why is etched out in scenarios showing the probable cause for Billy's breakdown. Early in his life, he seriously felt he scared a neighborly laundry lady to death; his father told him about his own suicide thoughts. As a man, he is faced with working two nowhere jobs in order to support his wife, who tells him she is pregnant. His parents are distant, self-centered people; only his grandfather brings Billy any sense of joy. The problem with the film is that even though we can understand and sympathize with Billy's plight, there's never a moment when we see anything so devastating that would make him crack (aside from a strange scene at the family's Easter dinner where we see Billy continuously banging his head on the table while the rest of the family blabbers on around him). Sure, Billy has problems but what is it about him that makes him take such a desperate act to rectify them? The script doesn't point us in that direction at all. Michael Hayden as Billy does a wonderful job in his role, parlaying his natural charm and descending madness into a tour de force performance. This independent film may have had more impact had we been shown a clearer path to Billy's fall."