Nobody is Crazy

Nobody is Crazy (Federico J. Arioni)

By: Adam Freed

Explorations into the recesses of the teenage mind can be an intriguing and complex endeavor.  In the case of Argentinian teenager Rafael, in Federico J. Arioni’s Nobody is Crazy, the voyage reshapes his perspectives completely. By the time audiences meet Rafael, a sixteen year old former orphan and child of divorce, he and his adoptive mother have already decided that as a result of some of his struggles, taking a break from public school in favor of seeking mental health help may be in his best interest.  Reluctantly Rafael attends his first group meeting and shortly thereafter encounters a mysterious masked man who goes by the name of Nobody.  Beneath his black mask of anonymity, and free of the burden of outside judgment, Nobody is emboldened to pursue his life's passions without hesitation.  An avid reader and student of martial arts, Nobody reveals to Rafael that not only is he a renaissance man, but also a time traveler.  The success of Nobody is Crazy runs parallel to the wavering believability that Nobody is in fact who he says he is.

Rich with pop culture references of the 80’s and 90’s, there is a strong comedic element that courses through the veins of Arioni’s feature film.  What amounts to a story about a young man’s crisis of existence manifests itself in a coming of age, walk and talk drama.  Joining Rafael and Nobody in their explorations into the realms of possibility is Daria, a free spirited young lady who seems drawn to Nobody’s willingness to embrace the eccentricities that he openly presents to the world.  Nobody is Crazy is at its best when the three newly joined friends are exploring their Argentine surroundings.  With a slight nod to teen classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) the trio visit an art museum, a carnival, and various interesting backdrops for conversational explorations into their expanding realities.

Unlike Richard Linklater’s apex exploration of the freedoms of youth, Before Sunrise (1995), Federico Arioni’s film lacks some of the cinematic frame composition that elevates Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s European conversational romance.  However, what makes Nobody is Crazy so much fun is the lingering possibility that Nobody may not be mentally unwell, and that his time travel story may in fact be true. Arioni aptly leaves plenty of room for wonder throughout the film, which elevates his act three reveal, building it into a worthy conclusion that is sure to delight audiences.

Target Score: 7/10 - Nobody is Crazy is a sharply written and performed South American walk and talk that explores the possibilities of revisiting the way that mental health is considered.  By weighing what is known against the realms of expanding what is believed to be possible, Federico J. Arioni’s film proves itself a worthy endeavor.