“What if you found the man who could save the world, but he didn’t even want to save himself?” That is the idea behind “Who is Delsin” an independent movie from writer/producer Paul Guzzo and director Pete Guzzo.
“Who is Delsin” is the story of Gerard Martinez, a journalist saved from captivity by a mysterious stranger who may be a mythical hero. Martinez’s story becomes one of obsession, madness eventually leading to murder.
The film is one part mockumentary and one part found footage. It opens with a tragedy and treats everything with the gravitas of a true tragedy. In fact, I had to do a quick search to make sure that this was not actually based on real events. Rest assured it is a work of fiction.
The found footage is the lost journal and incomplete documentary of Gerard Martinez. He is chronicling his search for the man he believes to be the hero who saved him, the illusive comic book hero Mon Protecteur, a man named Delsin. We watch as Martinez is driven to madness, his downward spiral plays out in front of our eyes.
Mon Protecteur is a short lived comic book from the 1940’s that some claim is based in reality. It’s the story of a man who is invulnerable, walking the Earth helping those in need. Mon Protecteur is most associated with saving soldiers in battle, soldiers from both sides of a conflict. He doesn’t seem to care about the conflict, merely wants to save those who are hurt or in danger.
Martinez believes that it is this man who saved his life after the Iraq war, and that he has the power to be the hero and savior of mankind. But what if Delsin doesn’t want to be a hero? How would you be changed if you had been a part of every armed conflict in human history?
Interspersed is the talking head style interviews with friends and family members of Martinez, comic book and conspiracy theorists, and several from Hollywood including Lloyd Kaufman of Troma fame and Gregg Hale, producer of The Blair Witch Project. Hale’s inclusion feels the most appropriate because this film seems to borrow from the “fact or fiction” ideal that surrounded Blair Witch’s release.
“Who is Delsin” is a solid film, well written and with a unique plot, even in these days of countless comic book and superhero films. Martinez and his decline is truly the high point of the film. The plot starts to take bizarre twists in the third act, but they coincide with Martinez losing more and more of his grip on reality and sanity.
The documentary style is an interesting choice. With the found footage aspect it may have been easier to film the whole movie as a found footage story, but the inclusion of Martinez’s family and friends helps to give the story a much stronger emotional impact. The inclusion of the Mon Protecteur comic book and pop culture discussion helps to bring the viewer into the story and give a frame of reference for the supernatural parts of the story.
“Who is Delsin” is a film with it’s own unique style and is unlike any other movie I’ve seen recently. Well worth tracking down and I hope we see more from the filmmakers.
Find out more about the film at https://www.facebook.com/WhoIsDelsin
Find more from Paul Guzzo