The Rambler–secondary review by Madeleine Tevelde

Madeleine Tevelde

The Rambler

Directed by: Calvin Lee Reeder

Screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder

            The film The Rambler was definitely one of the most intriguing films I have ever seen. It began with the main character, The Rambler, being released from prison only to find his old life not what he remembered. As he is trying to reconnect with his long-lost brother by hitchhiking across the country, he experiences a series of odd events and strange encounters that really have nothing to do with one another. I suppose you could say the title of the film is a perfect fit for its content, since The Rambler character rambles around living one day at a time.

            In the spectrum of ultra mainstream (1) to ultra independent (10), I think The Rambler is a definite 10. I would consider this a 10 because of the series of events that take place. Although there is somewhat of a story and plot because we are taken on his journey back to his brother, many of the events that occur along the way make little to no sense. The director even stated that there is nothing that can be gleaned from this film. At some points there is confusion as to what is real and what is his dream or even a hallucination. There are some images in this film (that may be from his real life or his imagination) that may be extremely disturbing and startling and should not be shown to a mainstream audience, which is another reason why I would give this film a 10 on the mainstream-independent spectrum. I am not sure what type of person this film would attract, perhaps someone who is interested in unnecessary and unexpected disturbing images. Although it is filled with odd sequences of events and troubling images, this film must fill some sort of niche somewhere.

            All types of film somehow integrate themselves in some sort of mythic way, whether they teach a lesson or show a known truth. The Rambler could just be a myth itself. As said in Campbell’s book, myths are a song of the imagination. Many sequences in this film are from the imagination. Perhaps what The Rambler sees in his journey are simply all myths. For example, the mad scientist is a common myth in many societies. A Mad Scientist often has wild white hair and does crazy things. In The Rambler, the mad scientist thinks he can interpret dreams with his very obscure machine. By doing such, he is living out his stereotyped ‘myth’ of a mad scientist. The mad scientist character in this film is one of many myths that are shown throughout the film The Rambler.  

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