One: The Movie

In 1992, a suburban father with no filmmaking experience decided to make a film by asking people about some of the fundamental questions of life.  One:  The Movie suffers because Ward Powers continually reminds the viewer about why he decided to make the movie, and fails to make a decent movie.  Powers made the film with two other people, and continually remind viewers that they never made a film before. This becomes obvious very quickly.  One has the same appeal and reach of What the #$*! Do We Know?, but a level of superficiality and self-indulgence that nearly ruins the movie.  Why else does Powers claim to have over 100 hours of footage from interviews with heavyweights like Deepak Chopra, then makes a film with a lot of fluff that still doesn't break ninety minutes.

There are two huge mistakes that Powers made.  The first was a lack of identifying subtitles.  Most people know who Chopra is.  Some people may know who Thich Nhat Hahn, Robert Thurman, Riane Eisler, and Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee are.  Chances are low that somebody watching will know everybody featured in the film.  It is a fascinating cross section of philosophers, thinkers, and religious figures, but until the end, Powers gives little indication on who they are or why he is interviewing them.  There are a few introductions and histories, but otherwise, he gives no indication on whether this is some noted thinker or just a random person off the street.  Also, he makes very little mention on how the beliefs between all his interviewees differ.  Then, Powers mentions that he used twenty questions, but at no time gives out what all the questions were.  Some of them become obvious, like "what are we all afraid of," "what happens after you die," and "describe God."  The rest remain unknown.

The second big mistake was to add in some cheesy black and white dramatic moments tinged with color.  In these, a guy walks around to a cloying voice over.  All this does is prove again that Powers and friends are not filmmakers, and take additional time away from listening to the opinions of the interviewees. A few of the people appear for only a couple minutes.  That doesn't work in a film like One.  This is a movie where conversation should be at the forefront.  Powers should have done away with all the black and white nonsense then expand the running time with more footage of his subjects.  Then, stop talking about how and why he made the film.  It's nice once, but after a while it feels like he's proud of the fact that he was able to go through the logistics of making a film rather than focusing on how he assembled an impressive array of subjects to interview.  Here is the best way to enjoy this film.  Click here.  Read up on who is appearing in the film, then look into what they believe in.  Then read what the questions are.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 19 minutes, Not Rated but contains mild language, a PG or possibly a PG-13.

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