Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 18th, 2011
Release Date: USA, 2010
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Director / Editor / Cinematographer: Kris Canonizado
Writers: Kris Canonizado, Rook Kelly, Jaquelyn Xavier
Producers: Kris Canonizado, Shane Ryan
Composers: Dan Hall, Andrew Yablonski
Cast: Rook Kelly, Jaquelyn Xavier, Dave Mora, Tommy Wilson
Synopsis: A guilt ridden young man hides behind a dog mask.
Who is that masked man?
This is the central question that anchors this most unusual story about guilt and redemption. At the core of Waldo the Dog is a story about a homeless young man named Waldo, who wears a dog mask. His back-story is only vaguely glossed over. With his motivations for wearing a dog mask. Being finally revealed during the film’s finale. Trying to gauge this character is often a difficult task. Not only because of the mask that he wears. Which also hides most of his true emotions. He also uses hand gestures to convey what he is trying to say for about 2/3’s of the film’s duration. And when he finally speaks. His bizarre behavior is only further intensified. The other key character is this lengthy melodrama is a young woman Jaquelyn. Who also lives a life of solitude. And just like Waldo, a traumatic event from her past. Has lead to her current state of mind. When we are first introduced to this young woman. It is from afar as Waldo follows her around and masturbates to her outside of her bedroom window. While she changing her clothes. Not wanting any other man to infringe on his nightly stalking of Jaquelyn. One Night Waldo rescues her. From some would be rapists. This event sets in motion. The most unlikely of friendships. And as the plot evolves we slowly get to know the true meaning behind Waldo’s obsession with this young woman.
Besides this evolving relationship between Waldo and Jaquelyn. The Film also features a sub plot which involves Waldo participating at a wrestling school. The scenes are easily this film’s weakest links. And they tend to get redundant as the story progresses. Where the scenes between Waldo and Jaquelyn are the glue that holds everything together. Visually the film’s has a documentary vibe to that effortlessly compliments the story at hand. Pacing wise the film lacks a steady rhythm. With there being several long stretches that stay a few beats to long. The performance that leaves the strongest impression is Jaquelyn Xavier in the role of Jaquelyn. So much of the film relies on her reactions. Since she spends the majority of the film taking to a man in a dog mask. She gives a sympathetic performance that makes the film’s down beat ending resonate all the more. Content wise it is safe to say that one would be hard pressed to find another film like Waldo the Dog. And while this film does deal with familiar themes. Most notably guilt. It’s greatest strength is the way in which it’s explores it’s protagonists guilt and need for redemption.
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