Darren Aronofsky's Pac-Man
February 28, 2010
We've been subjected to plenty of movies based on video games. Consider the cinematic magic that sprang from titles such as Resident Evil, Doom, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros., and Street Fighter, for instance. One of gaming's all-time top earners has yet to have a turn on the silver screen, but sci-fi blog io9 has a way to turn this arcade quarter-muncher into a riveting paranormal noir piece with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky at the helm. The game? Pac-Man.
Guillaume Homme-Pac is a mentally-ill pensioner who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is hermetic and only leaves the apartment to purchase anti-psychotic medication which he hoards using a number of forged prescriptions. He consumes near toxic amounts of these pills nightly, for every evening he is visited by four mysterious ghosts - Arnaud, Patrice, Benoît, and Clyde - who chase Monsieur Homme-Pac through the diseased labyrinths of his own mind. Although the medication keeps the apparitions at bay, it is eroding Homme-Pac's health and sanity.
Monsieur Homme-Pac's ex-wife Josette lives down the hallway from him. She still loves and cares for Guillaume, but his delusions placed an insurmountable strain on their marriage. Madame Homme-Pac is never seen without her trademark vermilion Givenchy beret. Josette supplies her husband with the prescriptions, but she hates herself for doing so. Unbeknownst to Guillaume, she too is haunted by four ghosts - Inès, Paulette, Babette, and Sue.
Of all the Pac-Man pitches I've heard over the years, this one is probably the most watchable. It certainly beats coming up with the special effects or costume needed to depict an ever-hungry yellow sphere. Still, I don't think there's a solid way to turn Pac-Man into a watchable film. Some games just do not have any business being movies, Namco's long-standing power pellet-inclusive franchise being one of them.