Film Review: “Quasi” (2023)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sometimes it’s interesting to watch films with a heavy subject made with subtle humor and in a less depressing manner. We all know the tragic story of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; therefore, it may appear that Director Kevin Heffernan joins the club of those who adapted the novel onto the big screen. While it is far from what Jean Jelannoy had envisioned back in 1956, the 2023 version takes a different approach that some may dislike, but it’s a fun and satirical take the vast majority may find themselves entertained.

Set in medieval France, Quasi (Steve Lemme) lacks a present look, but his sharp mind and exquisite ability to shine allow him to invent the most advanced torturing device that successfully causes pain to its victims and even kills them. Yet, his leadership skills and desire to do good make him unique. When he accepts the ticket offered by his hut mate Duchamp (Kevin Heffernan), Quasi becomes the winner. Invited to the sadistic King Guy`s (Jay Chandrasekhar) palace, the man is secretly tasked to assassinate Pope Cornelius (Paul Soter). While Quasi became famous and quickly turned into a local celebrity, his friend Duchamp becomes jealous, especially when Queen Catherine lays her eye on Quasi.

King Guy is as ruthless as he can get. He kills anyone who fails to fulfill his desires. He even killed the previous Queen just because she overstepped her position. Queen Catherine (Adrianne Palicki) realizes that the same fate might await her as well, so she creates finds in Quasi an unlikely ally who should find a way to save the Queen, have himself survive the King’s bad mood, and come out victorious once he comes up with the new plan to save the Pope. Quasi is a nice person who has no desire to harm anybody, even though his torturing device might tell a different story about him. Yet he knows his knife has always been full of rejection, hatred, and disgust coming from people, and it is the moment for him to prove that he is more than just an ugly man the rest of the world sees him as such.

Filmmaker Kevin Heffernan, who portrays the jealous friend of Quasi, Duchump, delivers a fine job with the lighter version of a heavy subject, truly capturing that the worth of a human being lies not in his appearance but in what his mind can offer. While the film itself does not aim to become an epic storyteller, it succeeds in turning it into a nice satire of power balance, internal fights, strange political affairs, and how one person can change the course of history. Overall, it`s an absurd adaptation but very memorable one – in a good way.

%d bloggers like this: