Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 36m
Director(s): David Farrier
Where To Watch: screened at the 2023 Overlook Film Festival
RAVING REVIEW: This documentary takes us on an intriguing journey, following the tale of an individual whose whole story begins with a parking mishap in Auckland, New Zealand, and evolves into madness and chaos from there. This narcissist has undoubtedly made a significant impact on New Zealand as a whole but hadn’t made the headlines in the US (we have enough nonsense going on, I guess there wasn’t room.)
MISTER ORGAN is a memorable experience that challenges viewers to see how far the rabbit hole goes. The film takes apart the story piece by piece, allowing the viewers to see what makes up this narrative for themselves. The story spans over ten years, and the dedication to this process is remarkable.
The personal touch of MISTER ORGAN enhances the documentary but also brings forth challenges. The director's participation in the story leads to a somewhat one-sided feeling to the report, made evident by specific topics that seemed almost out of place but were clearly important to him. Nonetheless, the film is still a remarkable example of investigative journalism and is highly engaging.
The documentary explores the life of an antique store owner in Ponsonby, Auckland, who resorts to extreme measures to prevent unauthorized parking (trust me, it’s more exciting than it sounds.) As the filmmaker digs deeper, he uncovers the man behind the strange tactic has quite the background with a penchant for self-promotion. The story gains momentum, spiraling into an intellectual showdown between the filmmaker and the titular figure.
The protagonist's constant harassment of the filmmaker and attempts to disrupt his life turn the documentary into something more than I think it was ever meant to be. While watching the film, you have a growing concern for the director's safety, resulting in a suspenseful viewing experience. Something you don’t traditionally get from a documentary.
Director David Farrier conducts interviews with those who are familiar with and know “Mister Organ” personally. These conversations expose a manipulative person who uses their baldness as a cover.
The entire film seems somewhat of an enigma, and it’s not what I would consider a traditional documentary by any stretch, with even its purpose being questioned at times. Ultimately I don’t think that's a bad thing, nor do I think we’ll ever know the full intentions behind why the film was made.
In summary, MISTER ORGAN presents a mesmerizing examination of a narcissist and the filmmaker's efforts to look inside who he is. With its captivating narrative and provocative subject matter, this documentary is a must-see for fans of documentaries, thrillers, and even “who-dun-its.”
For more reviews and my YouTube channel, please visit linktr.ee/Overlyhonestmoviereviews
Follow me on Letterboxd, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Find my social media accounts on most platforms simply by searching Overly Honest Movie Reviews.
I’m always happy to hear from my readers; please say hi or send me any questions about movies.
[photo courtesy of FIREFLY FILMS]