A Man's Story: Film Review

A Man's Story Still - H 2012

A Man's Story Still - H 2012

Doc captures the superficial appeal of designer's work but offers nothing deeper.

Varon Bonicos follows London fashion designer Ozwald Boateng whose suits are often seen on the red carpet.

The crisp lines and sensual textures of a suit by Ozwald Boateng, the London fashion designer whose celebrity admirers include Will Smith, are so elegantly sexy one assumes they make even non-famous wearers feel like the most important person in the room. Unfortunately for fashion-following moviegoers, that same illusion of self-worth seems to afflict Varon Bonicos' A Man's Story, a doc that does little to persuade us its subject is interesting enough to justify tagging along on so many unrevealing behind-the-scenes outings. Diehard fashionistas will likely want to see it, but few others will take notice.

Though Bonicos, who followed Boateng around for over twelve years, offers a good bit of runway footage and lets the designer expound on some general ideals of style, he shows us very little of the design process itself. Boateng is proud of his tailoring skills, but we don't see him cut and stitch.

What we do see is Boateng hopping around the globe, inspecting sites for fashion shows and either suffering mishaps or finding the stagecraft, to borrow one of his many expressions of self-satisfaction, "beyond imagination." Major things happen to him over the course of the film -- near-catastrophic business setbacks, two divorces, a stint as creative director at the legendary Givenchy fashion house -- but the film conveys little of their drama, perhaps because it finds so little human depth in this man whose career (and life, from what we see here) is so devoted to surfaces.

Production Company: Almega Projects, Molinare
Director: Varon Bonicos
Producers: Rachel Robey, Alastair Clark
Executive producers: Angus Aynsley, Miel De Botton Aynsley
Music: Chad Hobson
Editor: Tom Hemmings
No rating, 97 minutes