Vitus Fredi M. Murer

Vitus Fredi M. Murer

Vitus seems at first like every other mediocre movie in the "misunderstood child genius” genre. But then a switch is thrown and the film becomes progressively more insane, but not, alas, more entertaining. The genius in question is Vitus (Teo Gheorghiu), a super-bright nerd-god complete with an overbearing stage mother (Julika Jenkins) who wants to exploit his brilliant piano skills. But with the help of paycheck-cashing Bruno Ganz, I mean his irascible grandfather, he keeps his special skills to himself until his father (Urs Jucker) gets in financial straits and the boy has to save his bacon. Though it begins by sticking close to standard issue prodigy plotting (and bores you blind in the process), the film eventually starts making up crazy shit just for kicks and becomes at least theoretically fascinating in its departures from logic and sense. By the time Vitus has played the stock market and bought himself a spacious apartment under the noses of his strangely clueless parents, the film has completely lost the plot and rides a surge of nuttiness to a headscratcher of a conclusion. Sadly, the film doesn’t know that it’s crazy. Made by clueless squares without the smarts to know how to write a sensible screenplay or frame an attractive shot, they muffle the insanity and forge a numbing bore both visually and narratively. By the end you’ll be thanking God that films are finite. Extras include a feature commentary with director Fredi M. Murer, which reveals him to be highly fixated on his own childhood, a lengthy but listless making-of doc, a charming screen test with young Teo Gheorghiu, and seven deleted scenes. (Mongrel Media)