A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

Year: 2012
Studio: American Zoetrope
Director: Roman Coppola
Producer: Roman Coppola
Writer: Roman Coppola
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plana, Dermot Mulroney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Is it a passion project? Is Charles Swan a stand-in for what Charlie Sheen really goes through? Is it non fiction? A film within a film? A feverish nightmare dreamt by the heat of the California desert, a satire on what might have been?

Despite a few giggles, it's altogether so dull you won't care much. Sheen is Swan, a successful graphic designer whose life goes downhill following the break-up initiated by his beautiful girlfriends Ivana.

With his best friend, singer Kirby (Schwartzman) and accountant Saul (Murray), Charles tries to piece together where his life is headed while he recovers in hospital following a health scare and experiences a series of bizarre dream sequences where he rights all the wrongs the world's done to him, gets his girl back and puts everything right.

Despite the creative bankruptcy in Hollywood, names like American Zoetrope, United Artists and Jar Jar Binks prove you can actually go too far in the other direction – by giving filmmakers total control over their vision you can alienate audiences who just want a good time instead of a document about how clever someone is.

The story's a mess, none of the scenes leaving much of a mark, and in the end Swan comes off as the exact kind of person we all found Sheen to be during his implosion a few years ago – self-obsessed and vile, with no idea why nobody else loves him as much as he himself does. In a vacuum away from Sheen's toxic persona maybe it would have worked... but Swan is so unlikeable a character, probably not.

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