Review: The Giant Mechanical Man
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
For a first-time filmmaker, Lee Kirk sure knows how to pick his establishing shots. He opens The Giant Mechanical Man, his alternative rom-com debut, with quaint stills of a gray, generic city; a collection of well-worn art supplies; and a hanging silver suit, whose precise pairing with a bowler hat plainly evokes René Magritte's The Son of Man. Giving you his movie in three nutshells, Kirk introduces an archetypal urban fantasy centered on a romantic artist, whose signature act as an anonymous curbside robot makes him a walking commentary on the lost millions devoted to a grind. So much of Kirk's triumph is in the telling—in his handling of tone, tableaux, and acting talent. A lesser director would have turned his flawed script into a giggly, spiritless romance of the week, and missed by a mile the sweet fable of broad strokes the film thankfully became.