Human beings express a wide range of emotions and exhibit many different types of behavior. Boredom is one such feeling and the subject of one of the year’s most illuminating documentaries. The film, aptly titled Boredom, explores what causes this common feeling and how it can not only be bad for your mental health but bad for your physical health as well. People often overlook the issue of boredom and attribute it to a great many things but they don’t really dig deep to unearth the reasons behind it. Boredom does just that and if you are curious about the subject, then this documentary is definitely for you.
Director Albert Nerenberg (Laughology, Stupidity) paints an okay picture as he takes the viewer on an investigation into the commonly overlooked affliction that is boredom. He interviews notable psychologists who share their thoughts and findings related to the “phenomenon”. The bottom line is that boredom is closely related to stress and depression. Other theories are presented but these two factors seem to be the most consistent. The film moves at an adequate pace but the subject matter doesn’t exactly warrant multiple viewings.
Following in the standard documentary style, Boredom isn’t very groundbreaking or anything new. Cinematically-wise, it is by-the-numbers and a tad, well, boring. It is a straightforward investigation consisting of interviews, clips, and images and thankfully, isn’t very long. With a runtime of 61 minutes, it is a relatively decent length. It won’t bore you to tears but then again, it won’t grab you like say a documentary made by masters of the medium, Michael Moore or Ken Burns. Mr. Nerenberg could learn from these gentlemen since they are indeed, truly gifted documentarians.
Boredom is a film crafted by man curious about the topic but not passionate about bringing the arguments and ideas to life. Nerenberg doesn’t go the extra mile in presenting his findings in a colorful manner. He doesn’t package the meat of the film in a pretty or interesting way. Sure, the idea of boredom is presented but it just feels stale and unimportant. Documentaries shouldn’t just throw facts at the audience. They should grab you and shake you up. Boredom is a standard documentary with a topic many are curious about and struggle with. Nerenberg tried hard with it but the results aren’t very impressive. Perhaps with a different topic, he can churn out a film that is worth one’s time. Nerenberg has potential and he is certainly beefing up his resume. I’m actually curious what topic he’s tackling next (hoping that it will be more interesting than this). Watch Boredom if you have an hour to kill. Otherwise, I’d say just skip it.
DVD Bonus Features
The bonus features for Boredom are decent but don’t really enhance the DVD as a whole. There is actually a “Revolutionary Accelerated Unboring Version” which is only 48 minutes long. This is specifically designed for those who get bored easily. There are also two short segments, “Stages of Boredom” and “The Mountain that Boredom Built” but neither adds much to the proceedings.