The King of Staten Island – Fair but without Flair!

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2020 is really a year where you see Actors and Performers penning down their own Scripts, and this new release The King of Staten Island falls in the same block. Pete Davidson wrote the screenplay for the film with Jude Apatow and Dave Sirus and based his character on his own father. 

The Kind of Staten Island directed by Jude Apatow is a 2020 comedy-drama film that follows a 24-year-old man-boy, Scott Carlin played by Pete Davidson. Scott is pushed by both his sister and mother to get his life together, drop his super fictitious career goals, and do something through which he can finally settle in. Scott who has wasted his 24 years of life in a dope state, idealizing his father, is thrown off a cliff when his mom starts dating a firefighter, and that’s the catalyst point where he finally sets out on a journey to acquire self-discipline, purpose, and strength to commitment.

Knock-knock! – Who’s there? – Not Your Dad.

Scott lost his dad at a very young age due to a casualty in a fire-rescue accident. Since then, Scott has been fed stories of his perfect father figure by his mom. The King of Staten Island majorly deals with a son trying to become like his dad, a father he never knew. The plot slowly reveals the nature and true identity of his father which is a bit different from the image he created in his mind. 

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Scott’s attachment with his deceased father holds him back from taking control of his life. The fictional shadow of his dad never really leaves his mind that is reflected in his actions but when Scott finally learns the truth, he leaves his comfort zone and takes charge of his actions.

The character’s journey from a dope unbothered guy to finally a person committing to love, purpose, and responsibilities, has been very beautifully portrayed and performed by Pete Davidson. 

Apatow’s  Aptitude for Dialogues

The King of Staten Island - Fair but without Flair!

Time is passing by very quickly. That’s why I smoke weed all the time, okay? It slows it all down.

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The film is packed with regular intervals of Apatow’s crisp and punchy lines a signature style of his writing as seen in his previous work like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”

The only difference with the King of Staten Island is that the comedy is handled by more one-liners than a physical one. Physical Comey is evidently Apatow’s forte and The King of Staten Island is totally devoid of it, for reasons unknown.

I’m going to open that tattoo restaurant.

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The King of Staten Island - Fair but without Flair!

Scott’s passion is to open a tattoo restaurant. Though this dream looks vague to most of the characters in the film, including Scott’s mom, the dream looks even unreal to the audience because it was not intended in the script with the intention of a pursuit. The same applies to Scott’s other characteristics as well, as he never really pursues anything in life, which not only makes the main protagonist weak and hazy but also leaves the film with a no concrete plot. The King of Staten Island after certain scenes seems like poetry rather than prose. 

The character is filled with major flaws which he feels guilty about, but never really tries to change anything about it. It can be true for a real character in real life as well, but in a medium like a film that advocates change, this particular virtue makes the screenplay thin and personal rather than moving.

The King of Staten Island could have been a really great funny tale with a certain depth about a dope addict’s journey from wasted to getting hold of his life, but it really missed all the right tunes. It can be summarised like an unending film, going as slowly as it can, under the influence of a marijuana joint. It had it a chunk of chuckles but it didn’t amount to any remember a moment in the end.

If you want to experience Pete Davidson’s performance and Apatow’s witty Dialogues then The King of Staten Island is available on Demand on this link.


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Shikhar Agrawalhttps://dmtalkies.com
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 6 years, majorly writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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