Vitus Fredi M. Murer

Vitus Fredi M. Murer
At first, you think Vitus is going to be a dull and mediocre movie in the "misunderstood child genius” genre. Then a switch is thrown and the film becomes progressively more insane but not, alas, more entertaining.

The genius in question is the titular Vitus (Teo Gheorghiu) and of course, he has an overbearing stage mother (Julika Jenkins) who wants to exploit his brilliant piano skills. But with the help of his clichéd irascible grandfather (a slumming Bruno Ganz), he manages to keep his special skills to himself, until his father (Urs Jucker) gets in financial straits and the boy has to swing into action.

Though it sticks fairly closely to standard issue prodigy plotting in the early stages (and not coincidentally, bores you into an early grave), the film eventually starts making up crazy shit just for kicks and becomes at least theoretically fascinating for the ways it departs from logic, sense and reality. By the time Vitus has played the stock market and bought himself a spacious apartment under the noses of his strangely clueless parents, who fail to notice his frequent absences from home, the film has completely lost its mind and rides a surge of nuttiness to a headscratcher of a conclusion.

Sadly, the film doesn’t know that it’s nuts. It seems to have been made by clueless squares without the smarts to know how to write a sensible screenplay or frame an attractive shot, and their lack of care destroys whatever interest their insanity might have generated.

The film is a crashing bore both visually and narratively, and by the end you’ll be thanking God that films are finite and theatre exits are easy to spot. (Mongrel Media)