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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 03.27.17] comedy drama

Dave Made a Maze is ridiculous. It's the story of Dave (Nick Thune), an aimless 30-year-old artist who still borrows money from his parents, who builds a cardboard maze in his living room while his girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is away on a business trip. He gets lots in the maze which, he later explains to a gathered group of friends including a film crew, is far bigger and more elaborate on the inside than it appears to be on the outside. Against Dave's wishes, Annie leads a crew of explorers into the maze, including (obviously) the film crew, to rescue Dave.

It may also be the most innovative movie I've seen in some time.

The concept itself, this idea that someone builds a cardboard maze in their living room which encompasses an entirely new world inside is original but what's more interesting is what that maze represents.

Dave builds his maze as an attempt to create something he actually finishes but as with all of his other projects, he never quite gets to the end instead getting lost, getting frustrated and simply giving up.

The maze is a perfect stand in for Dave's indecisiveness and his inability to take the next step into adulthood. He's stuck both literally and figuratively and it takes the support of his girlfriend and his friends to help him figure out how to move forward. The maze is both a fun visual for Dave's internal struggle and also makes for rather hilarious moments - most of them involving the film crew led by Harry (James Urbaniak), the visionary director who keeps the crew motivated.

For the most part, Dave Made a Maze is a light-hearted adventure through a world of cardboard complete with confetti blood and a half-cardboard minotaur who is chasing the group through the maze and, occasionally, into booby traps. There are moments of levity throughout and at one point, the group encounters what appears to be an evil entity that is supposed to be scary but it's hard to be scared of something made of cardboard.

Dave Made a Maze is an endearing story of one man coming to terms with his failures and the realization that moving on is as easy as making a decision and that growing up sometimes means making mistakes.

Cemented by great performances, most notably from Kumbhani who is both the sensible one and the heart of the story, Dave Made a Maze is a wonderfully charming and innovative story of an adult finally growing up.

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