Friday, October 21, 2016

Movie Review: Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Director: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Producer: Eval Rimmon, Lauren Mann, Lawrence Inglee, Jonathan Wang, Miranda Bailey, Amanda Marshall
Distributor: A24
Release Date(s): January 22, 2016 (Sundance Film Festival), June 24, 2016 (United States)
Running Time: 97 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: R

Official Site | Trailer

Hank (Paul Dano), a man who is attempting suicide after being lost on an island, when he sees a corpse wash ashore, Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). He develops a type of friendship with the dead body and discovers that he can manipulate the cadaver like a Swiss Army knife and ends up slowly reanimating him from the dead. (Source)

Movie Tags: Comedy, Emotional, Goofy, Sentimental

Note: Please note R rating.

"If you hide farts from those you care about, what else are you hiding?" - Manny

Before I start, this is what I believe the underlining message of this story is. We're all kind of gross, we all do things, like fart, why hid it?
Everyone poops. While it's great to 'keep the mystery alive', don't feel shame for it.

Going into this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd seen the trailers online, thinking they were silly yet curious as to what the film would actually be about. "Light hearted and hopefully silly to watch", I hit the nail on the head.

While is film does carry very heavy subtext, starting with a man ready to take his life, as well as the main protagonist questioning almost every aspect of his life, almost obsessively, it's very well hidden under a layer of utter silliness. I'm practically fond of movies that address very serious issues, in a very non-serious sort of way. I personally think life is about laughing, even if it's not all the time.
You should be able to view yourself, your issues, and see some of your hang ups as silly, while still being able to embrace them. Which I felt was the main theme of Swiss Army Man.

The entire premise of a man that's dead, but is he really dead? Is rather interesting. It may lead you to assuming you'll show concern, of the bad kind, for the leading man Hank. The catch is, there are other things to be more concerned about.
Not once did I really find the idea of a friendship with a "dead but not quite dead man" concerning, which in retrospect makes me wonder about myself a bit.. Let's chalk that up to the flow of the story being so smooth.
You simply go with the flow of the current and get swept away by this odd movie.

One thing I am somewhat unsatisfied with, which is why this only received four stars, that's is the ending. It felt almost, uncomfortable. The journey, is what catches you, then reality sets in, and you're left trying to salvage what you took from the experience.
While it, once again, indirectly addresses the primary concerns of the movie. Too many "what ifs" "what's next?" were left open.
However the point is, does that all really matter as much as you think it does?

As a disclaimer I should comment, quirkiness is almost always a plus in my book. Even more so if it's quirky without being weird. Which is movie flirted with that line, I choose to give it an overall good rating.

Recommend: Emotional drama, adult humour, quirkiness, and comedy.

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