Review by Paris Jade
Marvelous and the Black Hole tells the story of a young girl trying to navigate her way through life after the loss of her mother. She finds an outlet through magic. This is the type of film that immediately introduces the protagonist as this whiny teen who never wants to listen to anybody because she has it worse than everyone else when, in reality, she doesn’t. Of course, like every coming-of-age film, the lesson of the story is someone has it worse than you, and it gets better. The problem with this film is that you just don’t empathize with the main character. Yes, she lost her mother, and that is very sad. Her family is trying to move on, but this girl constantly acts like it’s the end of the world. However, Sammy is a 13-year-old girl, and they all seem to act this way.
Other than the main character, almost every other character is unlikeable as well. Sammy’s sister Patricia (Miya Cech) can also be a bit annoying at times. Throughout the entire movie, all she ever cares about is playing a game and telling on her sister. Then we have Margot (Rhea Perlman), a complete stranger who takes Sammy under her wing and shows her how to do magic and how it can make you feel. Here is the thing — Margot is an older woman who meets Sammy in her school’s women’s restroom. She then takes her to one of her gigs for a classroom of little children. Just from that description, this movie could take a sharp turn from coming-of-age to kidnapping thriller. Not only is our main character a brat, but now she is also an idiot for following a total stranger around and will forever believe that all strangers who know magic must be nice and will have no other intentions. However, Rhea Perlman does a great job of being the guardian and mentor you never knew you needed.
This film is nothing but frustrating when it comes to the actions of Sammy. Throughout the entire film, mistake after mistake, Sammy is still a moody teenager thinking the universe is out to get her. Her sister makes it worse by going against her instead of trying to have an actual conversation. Her father can’t have a conversation with her because he honestly doesn’t know how to and won’t admit it. You are frustrated until the very end, and you don’t even feel for this girl.
The writing may not have been great, but the best thing about this film was the soundtrack and score. It had great music that moved along well with the movie, and it’s the only reason you’ll ever feel something during this movie. Composer Tim Kiefer did a fantastic job of storytelling through music and deserves every bit of recognition. Along with Kiefer, the cinematographer Nanu Segal made every shot seamless and at least made the film something pretty to look at.
If you love a movie with a constantly complaining teenager, this is the film for you. Otherwise, you should skip it.
Watch Marvelous and Black Hole in theaters and on VOD on April 22.