Buster's Mal Heart

This peculiar indie drama scores points for originality and impressive performances, though it’s elusive in its design and feels unsatisfying on the whole. Writer-director Sarah Adina Smith intercuts between two narrative strands. In the first, a hotel concierge (Rami Malek), raising a two-year-old daughter with his devout Christian wife (Kate Lyn Sheil), starts to lose his grip on reality after he befriends a nomadic computer engineer (DJ Qualls) who believes the collapse of civilization is imminent. In the second, a hermit living in the woods of Montana (Malek again) sustains himself during the winter by breaking into vacation homes of the upper class and taking their belongings. Smith maintains a compelling air of mystery and introduces some interesting themes about self-determination and social organization; however, the various pieces don’t quite add up, and Smith’s attempts at humor aren’t especially funny.