“Dave Made a Maze” is a story of finding yourself, even when lost in a labyrinth of your own creation.
“Dave Made a Maze” is a new indie release revolving around Dave (Nick Thune) who builds a cardboard labyrinth in his living room and then proceeds to get lost inside. His friends then venture within to try and rescue him, encountering deadly traps and a menacing Minotaur along the way.
This film is unlike anything you will have ever seen before, incorporating light comedy, heartfelt moments of love and friendship as well as fast-paced action. It’s unique in both look and story, with some more abstract sequences, but overall a strong debut for director Bill Watterson.
The highlight of this film definitely comes through the production design of the maze. Imaginative and very impressive, the majority of the film is set inside cardboard walls you will never get bored of looking at. The production and costume designers for this film should be highly praised as they really brought the film together and made the story believable.
Underneath all of the cardboard, the real story being told was one of an artist's struggle as Dave battles with starting an abundance of projects and never finishing them, as well as thinking nothing he makes is ever good enough. Through extreme lengths, it is a story most of us can identify with and has beats of deep contemplative moments amongst the action of the film.
The element of Dave’s friends making a documentary of the ordeal helped to put a fresh perspective on the narrative and push the story through. The crew were also one of the funniest parts of the film, along with the character Gordon (Adam Busch) who all took the absurdities of the maze in their stride. The relationship between and Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) and Dave felt real and believable for the portion of the film they spent together. Although the protagonist of our story was Dave, Annie was a strong character who really added to the plot and helped to keep things moving.
“Dave Made a Maze” is an original take on an action/adventure film that will take you on a unique journey. However, some of the sequences felt somewhat confusing narratively and did not seem fit into the context of the story. In addition to this, some of the more confusing sequences in the film happened and then were never brought up again, leaving you wondering what just happened and why. The film is somewhat experimental in terms of its narrative and will sometimes meander into absurd sequences not seemingly relevant to the main plot. Furthermore, some of the comedy felt occasionally forced and too over the top in certain parts.
The storytelling of “Dave Made a Maze” is unique and strangely charming and will leave you excited for what comes next from Bill Watterson.