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The Misguided Review

February 8, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Misguided
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The Misguided Review  

The Misguided Review

Caleb Galati– Levi
Jasmine Nibali– Sanja
Steven J. Mihaljevich– Wendel
Katherine Langford– Vesna
Clay Foster– Jason
Athan Bellos– Viktor
Kirstie Francis– Maja
Anna Philp– Monique

Directed by Shannon Alexander
Screenplay Shannon Alexander

Distributed by Umbrella Entertainment

Not Rated
Runtime– 88 minutes



The Misguided, written and directed by Shannon Alexander, is one of those super talky indie dramas that has no real plot and is about a gaggle of generally reprehensible people that you wouldn’t want to hang out with at any point in your life. I’m going to assume that this kind of movie appeals to some kind of audience out there, as it wouldn’t have been made if it didn’t have a shot at finding an audience at some point. I do know, though, that I am not a member of that audience.

The Misguided stars Caleb Galati as Levi, a sort of down on his luck loser both looking for a job and a place to stay. He decides to ask his brother Wendel (Steven J. Mihaljevich) if he can stay with him. At first, Wendel isn’t too keen on having his brother hang around his house as he doesn’t have a job and is apparently a recovering addict of some kind. Since Wendel is an addict, too, (or perhaps a recovering addict. I’m not entirely sure) he doesn’t need that kind of influence around him. However, because Levi is his brother and family and all that, Wendel decides to allow Levi to crash at his home. He’ll probably get a job at one point. And, heck, he can probably help the clean the house. It’s always better to have someone else do that because cleaning the house is always a giant pain in the ass.

While all of that is going on, Wendel’s ex-girlfriend Sanja (Jasmine Nibali) wants her car back. Apparently Wendel still has it, believing that Sanja gave it to him as a gift. Sanja goes to Wendel’s house with her sister Vesna (Katherine Langford) to get the car. When they get there they both run into Levi, and it’s at that moment that Sanja and Levi share a connection. Vesna tries to tell Sanja it’s a bad idea to get hooked up with a guy like Levi, especially after being with Wendel. Why would a relationship with Levi turn out any differently? Sanja doesn’t want to hear that, though. For whatever reason Levi seems like the right guy right now.

So Sanja and Levi start dating. They get pretty hot and heavy pretty quickly, a situation that sets off Sanja’s parents, especially her father Viktor (Athan Bellos, who looks like Mark Strong). He doesn’t want Levi around because he’s a drug addict and a bad influence on Sanja. She’s going to college and has a future and he doesn’t want to see her throw her life away to be with Levi. Sanja’s mother Maja (Kirstie Francis) feels the same way but isn’t as openly belligerent about keeping Sanja away from Levi. Sanja has to be allowed to live her life and make her own decisions. And Sanja is a smart girl, she knows what she wants, and she isn’t going to make a mistake.

So then Wendel goes to an abandoned factory on the outskirts of town to buy drugs from a bald guy named Jason (Clay Foster), one of the most chill drug deals in the history of cinema. We then watch Wendel take those drugs and, I guess, have a good time.

So then some time goes by, Sanja decides to go to university out of town and take Levi with her, and Wendel ends up going into massive debt and has to sell all of his stuff and may lose his house. When Levi finds out about what Wendel is going through, he decides to help him.

That, as far as I can tell, is the alleged plot to The Misguided. It takes well over an hour to get to the whole “Wendel needs help because he’s got a major drug problem again” thing, and when it does happen it doesn’t come off as that big of a deal. In fact, nothing feels like a big deal in this movie. There’s a moment where Viktor physically confronts Levi and beats on him a little, but nothing really happens after that. Wendel owes Jason money and, I guess, Wendel is scared of Jason killing him/beating him up/whatever, but there’s no sense of danger or animosity between the two. Hell, I thought Jason was Wendel’s understanding friend and drug connection and that he was just protecting him/enabling him.

And then there’s the big plan that Wendel and Levi have to get Wendel out of debt. I have no idea how it works. I could be misunderstanding the plan, but it sure seems like it’s yet another thing this movie would rather have happen off screen. I know it’s an indie and all about people and their relationships, but, man, shouldn’t we get to actually see some stuff happen? I don’t get it.

The Sanja-Levi relationship isn’t as interesting as the movie wants you to think it is. They do have some chemistry but we only really see them in their “good” moments. There are no major blow ups, arguments, etc. We do see a few arguments between Wendel and Levi, but those fizzle out before anything really happens between them. They have a fight towards the end of the movie, a physical fight that is one of the lamest things you’re likely to see in any kind of movie. Up until that point there’s no real sense of tension between the two. Wendel has issues and yells and screams and bullies Levi, but he doesn’t fight back (Levi is laid back big time). And when he does fight back, it doesn’t feel like a release of something. It’s just something that happens.

The movie as a whole probably would have been more successful if it had been all about Wendel and his life and problems. He’s a drug addict/recovering drug addict, he’s bi-sexual and apparently goes through both men and women like crazy, and whatever his job is he’s either really good at it or absolutely terrible at it. Think about the messed up stuff we could have seen if it was all about him.

The actors are okay. Mihaljevich gives the most interesting performance in the movie as Wendel. Caleb Galati as Levi is the most likeable of the main cast, but even then you want him to stop being so laid back. Jasmine Nibali is annoying as Sanja. She just is. And Katherine Langford has very little to do as Sanja’s sister Vesna.

Anna Philp is in the movie briefly as Monique, a woman that meets up with Wendel and performs oral sex on him in his car. Why would she do that? No idea. Wendel ends up leaving her by the side of the road, which causes her to throw her shoes at Wendel’s car. Why couldn’t we see more about her story? How the hell did she get home? What the hell did she see in Wendel in the first place?

I don’t get The Misguided. I don’t understand what it’s appeal is supposed to be. It’s an interesting experience in Australian indie cinema, but that’s about it. Beyond that, I have no idea who this movie is meant for.

See The Misguided if you have to. Only if you have to, though.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: None.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A guy driving around at night for some reason, masturbation, multiple alleged arguments, car washing, a lack of direction, a pool table with red felt, cigarette smoking, an off screen job search, sleeping on the couch, a small fight over shorts, swimming, beach jogging, toast making, toast eating, drug buying, drug taking, ocean swimming, walking at night, a cat, oral sex, potential burglary, off screen foot fetish stuff, using a hairdryer, face punching, knee to the face, strangulation, and more cigarette smoking.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Australian shit, people saying “more better,” Australian hip hop, eating Chinese food with chopsticks, multiple attacks on Perth, Australia and its public transportation system, nose spray, cigarette smoking, talk of bisexuality, a person wearing an Evil Dead shirt, guy shit, swinging on a swing, multiple “cock sucking” insults, and more cigarette smoking.

Best lines: “Do you know what fucking time it is?,” “What happened to your neck?,” “Do you know anything about being in a relationship?,” “Fucking carjacker,” “What have you got against exotic dancers?,” “Ah, shit, it is eight!,” “Shit. Head. I should crush these and send Wendel the pieces,” “Do you know how expensive wine is after a few years?,” “Are you fucking her? A little bit,” “Did you make her scream? I’m not telling you,” “Did you really think the car was a gift?,” “What do you do all day? I swim in the pool,” “I want my shorts back,” “Dope head piece of shit!,” “Yeah, I’m not a big fan of PDA,” “You can be so dense sometimes,” “It’s not happening. Try my balls,” “No more jokes about my penis,” “You’re the one who sucks cock,” “Hit some other spots, too!,” and “I dig the envelope. Very top secret.”

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The Misguided is an Australian indie drama about horrible people. It’s an interesting movie watching experience, in a way, but I have no idea what the point of it is supposed to be, nor do I get who the audience for it is. Check it out if you must, it isn’t a total disaster, but it isn’t something I can wholly recommend.