Velvet Buzzsaw— My take on the movie with spoilers!
Presented with an opportunity to advance in your career, would you be willing to compromise on morality or will you stick with your conscience?
It is a perplexing dilemma. Getting promoted not only means more money, but respect and making a name for yourself too.
What do you hope to achieve from sticking to ethics?
It means you'll get to survive, especially according to the movie VELVET BUZZSAW.
The movie is ambitious, shows ambitious people, and then very terrifyingly tells you the price of deception.
The story opens with Morf taking a walk around an art gallery. He's an art critique and instantly puts down an art piece which is a robot dressed as a hobo and uttering depressing lines.
His one review sends the artwork to collect dust in a storage unit. The next piece is a giant sphere people are supposed to put their arm in.
These two pieces are necessary to the story. Why? It will all come back later.
We are shown the nitty-gritty of the art world, the games people play, the poaching of artists by gallery owners. Two feuding owners are Rhodora and Dondon.
Then there is Gretchen who works in an art museum but leaves it to become an art advisor.
There is Josephina, assistant to Rhodora who is demoted for repeatedly showing up late. Her position is taken up by Coco.
As if that isn't enough, she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her.
The story then shifts to Josephina who gets together with Morf, who in turn breaks up with his partner.
But Josephina gets her big break when her neighbor dies and leaves behind a plethora of paintings that the landlord is instructed to discard.
Josephina takes one look at them and steals them all from the dead man's apartment. She shows a couple of them to Morf who is ensorcelled. Josephine takes it as cue to show it to Rhodora who takes her back in.
Josephina is ecstatic and barely flinches when she is asked to distort facts as to how she came to find these paintings.
She is forced to say she found them in a dumpster to avoid legal issues, and that though there are thousands of paintings by the artist, she has to deliver a neutral reply.
It is all done to create a market for these paintings that some claim to speak to them.
And indeed it does.
We are shown only a couple of them and they are all vividly violent.
Morf also acquires the rights to write a biography on the artist and investigates his case. What he finds shocks him. The artist was abused by his father as a kid and goes crazy. He's sent to the mental institution and when he gets out, kills his father. And then anyone who angers him.
Meanwhile, the whole world is going crazy for the new artist but he delivers his revenge from the grave to anyone who is profiting from his paintings.
The delivery man is first to go. He is set on fire in a bizarre incident.
Then it is Gretchen who puts her arm inside the sphere, aforementioned, and has her hand chewed out. She bleeds to death and the next morning, the visitors to tue gallery think it's part of the act. Coco finds her and is thrown in shock.
At her funeral, Josephina meets the other new artist Rhodora and Dondon were fighting over. She clicks with him and cheats on Morf.
Dondon is found hanging by Coco again and at this point you just feel bad for the poor girl who claims she may just have to go back home.
Morf takes pity on her and takes her in to help him find the rest of the artist's paintings. He is convinced they are cursed and upon meeting the lab technician, finds out that real blood tissue was used to complete the painting. The artist's blood that is.
He warns Rhodora but no one listens to him.
At the storage unit, Morf is attacked by the hobo robot and killed. You do feel bad for him because in the cut throat art world, he seemed one of the genuine guys.
Coco finds him and decides enough is enough. She doesn't have a job anyway and has witnessed three bizarre murders.
Josephina is attacked at the gallery in a weird manner. Paint comes in streams toward her and pull her in.
In the end, she's turned into a painting, though everyone believes she has gone missing.
Rhodora, sick of people dying Al around her wants nothing to do with art. She throws it all away and her trash is collected by a vendor who sells the paintings for give dollars each. The cycle will continue.
Rhodora is relaxing in her home when we are shown her tattoo of a circular saw she had gotten when she was a Rockstar. In the middle are the words, Velvet Buzzsaw, her rock name.
The tattoo comes alive and digs into her throat.
She too is dead.
Velvet Buzzsaw takes a bit of patience to watch. The first half deals with the drama and the games played by gallery owners. The horror part doesn't begin until the second half and is a bit tame. In fact, some of the execution is almost comical. If it was intentionally dark comedy, then yes it does work.
There are too many characters and too many stories. The main story of the artist and why he wants to attack people who are profiting from his art, should have been given more prominence.
That being said, the movie has some genuinely enjoyable moments and leaves an impression.
Scare scale : 3.5/5