FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It (2021)

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Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It Plot

Dastan has been trying to cope with the constant nagging, bordering on abuse, from his pregnant wife. After a particularly nasty fight, Dastan decides to go with a couple of his friends for a fishing trip. It seems to be going well, despite having to make the trip in a van full of malfunctioning sex dolls, when the trio of wannabe fishermen accidentally run afoul of a couple of mobsters… and those mobsters have run afoul of a one-eyed scythe-wielding maniac who appears to be borderline indestructible. It’s equal parts terrifying and hilarious as the body count rises and Dastan just tries to figure out how to get back to his wife before she gives birth.

FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It (2021)

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It Review

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is a glorious farce that accidentally ran headfirst into a Friday the 13th knockoff and it’s almost impossible not to love it. From the moment the film starts its glorious strangeness is working at 11 and somehow just goes up from there.

This is not the kind of film that’s trying to be subtle or have nuance, it’s about 5 seconds away from playing the Benny Hill theme at any moment. It’s the kind of film where something gloriously stupid happens and you just throw your hands up and yell “Ok, this is happening now” and go with it because what other option is there?

One of the weird miracles of Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is that despite this movie just going to all kinds of weird places (including a shotgun wedding, several beheadings, someone almost drowning in a swamp and a hiding spot almost being exposed by farting to name a few) it manages to be incredibly tonally consistent… It helps that the tone is “Batshit” but it’s consistent about it, it never feels like anything is out of place even when we’re watching a prolonged fart joke take place in a seemingly serious setting.

FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Sweetie, You Won't Believe It (2021)
FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It (2021)

That tonal consistency is down to the brilliant direction of Yernar Nurgaliyev who manages to keep the energy of Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It going constantly, never slowing down long enough for the audience to really think about the situation going on. It’s fast and it’s fun with a ton of creative visuals and clever camerawork that heightens everything going on (and considering how high everything is already, that’s not easy to do).

Every shot is impeccable and the timing for some of the jokes is crisp as hell, in particular the aforementioned fart scene that turns into a brilliantly choreographed sequence just trying to keep one character out of the eye line of another.

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is also extra careful with how it’s working its multiple plots, in total there are about four groups of characters running about and interacting in wild ways throughout the film and it’s so easy to keep track of all of them. There’s exactly one pair of characters who you have a chance to forget before they return to the film, fortunately, their return is so insane that even if you forget where you remember them from, they’re still wildly entertaining when they jump back into the film. 

Overview

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is a pitch dark comedy that toes the line of horror every now and then before practically doing a pratfall to remind the audience that it’s just a very silly film. It’s over the top, goofy as hell at times and goddamn proud of it. It’s the kind of film that’s hard to critique because it just does everything well enough to be a good old time from its very abrasive start to its very funny finish.

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is available as part of the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival


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