My Hindu Friend: Willem Dafoe Carries Artsy Drama

2.5 out of 5 stars (decent)

Poster Courtesy of Rock Salt Releasing

Thank you to Tricoast Entertainment and Rock Salt Releasing for reaching out to me for this review.

My Hindu Friend is a film carried by its lead performance.  The final film by Hector Babenco before his death in 2016, it’s an artsy drama about a man’s slow recovery from a deadly illness.  There’s a personal touch to the proceedings that somewhat elevates this above other similar films, and Willem Dafoe’s performance is powerful without being too showy (INTENSE YELLING is thankfully rare).  My Hindu Friend has a strong lead performance and a personal feel that make it worth seeing for fans of Dafoe or anyone else involved, but some may be put off by its slow pace and artsy choices.

Famed film director Diego Fairman (Willem Dafoe) has been given 3 months to live with a Lymphoma diagnosis.  With his loving wife Livia (Maria Fernanda Candido) by his side, those months turn to years, both trying to retain hope for the future.  During this time, Diego befriends an 8-year-old Hindu boy (Rio Adlakha) and tells him of his life’s great accomplishments to cope with his dire situation.

Willem Dafoe owns every second of My Hindu Friend.  I’ve seen him give big performances in Spider-Man and The Fault in Our Stars, but here he communicates the pain of a man slowly losing everything on the inside and struggling to hold on with quiet intensity.  Candido is fine as his wife, though I would have liked a bit more with her character and the titular Friend isn’t as prevalent as you’d think.  Writer-director Hector Babenco interjects visually interesting but heavily confusing artistic sequences that made the pacing drag to me, but fans of artsier fair may enjoy them.  Despite its shortcomings, My Hindu Friend is worth seeing for Dafoe’s performance and a personal feel.  See it.

Likely Rated R for Sexuality/Nudity

See My Hindu Friend for a limited theatrical engagement beginning January 17th, 2019 in the following cities: New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, and Chicago.  My Hindu Friend will also be released on digital that same day for Amazon, iTunes, inDemand, DirecTV, Vudu, Google Play, FANDANGO, Vimeo on Demand, FlixFling, Hoopla, AT&T, Xbox, Sony, & Sling/Dish.


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