Adventures Of A Happy Homeless Man
Felino Dolloso, Iwona Abramowicz, Eliza St John
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
In this low budget film from filmmaker, Dicky Tanuwidjaya (The Devil’s 6 Commandments), a documentary crew shadows a homeless man, Rafael aka Bobo The Hobo (Felino Dolloso), as he waxes philosophically, and interacts with people from all walks of life, including politicians, musicians and drug dealers.
On the surface, the sparse plot sees our Happy Homeless Man trying his hand at literally anything that comes his way – from playing rock guitar in a band through to auditioning for a gay drama – all whilst eyeing up opportunities to have sex. But underneath his dreadlocks and IMAX 3D glasses, there’s the inkling that, despite the title’s insistence, Rafael isn’t as happy as he makes out. Talking heads with his ex-wife and friends reveal a man who lost it all and has never tried to get it back. Like David Brent in The Office, there’s a suggestion that the presence of the cameras never allows Rafael to be his true self, but that’s okay with him. Rafael wants everyone, including his ex-wife, to know that everything is going just the way he planned.
Lying to save face or project a certain façade becomes the theme of the film, as the people that Rafael interacts with – and equally frustrates – often turn out to be hiding their true selves, from the cocaine dealer who really deals flour, to the wannabe actress who only helps Rafael when there’s something in it for her. Like a feel-good Bad Boy Bubby, Rafael’s approach to the world, as grating as he can be, reveals something in others which ultimately leads to his own vindication. Whilst a little scattershot in its approach, treated as an anthology with Dolloso as the through-line, Adventures Of A Happy Homeless Man wears its heart on its sleeve and proves itself with a surprisingly emotional finale.