Danny. Legend. God.
Bulgarian feature film Danny. Legend. God. aims to denounce corruption by portraying the life of a man who calls himself an entrepreneur and city councillor, but who actually gets ahead only through illegal means and sheer arrogance.
Director Yavor Petkov’s debut feature is a one-man show that stars Danny (Dimo Alexiev), who has agreed to be the main subject of a documentary about money laundering. A British journalist and her crew of two are sent to discover his secrets, but they end up just listening to him brag about his dubious merits and achievements. As soon as he sees the cameras, Danny fancies himself a star and envisions a Hollywood film about his life, which he coerces the crew into shooting. The passive filmmakers find themselves dragged from scenes of debauchery to violent meetings, which Danny uses to display his undisputed power.
All the interactions between the protagonist and the crew prove to be awkward, if not disastrous, as he drives his guests around rural Bulgaria and they shadow his business errands and then dine with his family. Some scenes are faintly reminiscent of Borat, although they lack the comic edge. Eventually the film becomes a string of episodes in which Danny makes inappropriate comments and is generally a bully. Unfortunately, his antics become repetitive and fail to develop into anything else.
While the production’s objective may have been worthwhile, its execution renders it banal and predictable. Danny is the worst kind of lowlife, in the guise of a businessman, and he jumps from one misdeed to the other without displaying even the shadow of a redeeming quality. He is essentially a caricature of the corrupted man in power, and his portrayal never hints at what lies beneath the surface of his actions. Comedy could have been a viable route, but there is no real commitment to extracting the humour from the cringe-worthy situations.
The very core of the movie is questionable as it is not clear what the protagonist, who is so desirous of public approval and a foray into politics, would gain from showing the world his violent streak and countless illegal dealings. Danny. Legend. God. does nothing more than point to the existence of such disreputable people and it forces a scenario in which one such man can be observed in all his baseness. Ultimately, it manages to be over the top without providing much entertainment, action, or food for thought.
Danny. Legend. God. is released digitally on demand on 3rd May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Danny. Legend. God. here: