Swiss Army Man (2016) Movie Review

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Swiss Army Man (2016) Movie Review

Weird and wonderful.

I meant to write about this after Sundance and time got away from me. I remember thinking at the time that it was a wonderfully imaginative movie that would never ever make it to the theater but I just saw an MPAA trailer released for it so it looks like it might just happen. This is one of those films that is so bizarre that it is hard to really talk much about it without sounding insane or giving too much away. It's really just a film you have to decide to see and then let it unfold. I feel like it's an early film Michel Gondry would have made and the directors (Daniel Scheinert and Daniels Kwan, aka "The Daniels") do such a great job putting this film together. It's no wonder they won the prize for Directing though there was some blow-back at the festival as this film definitely divided people. But I have to say that my screening had no walkouts and received a standing ovation afterward. I think on the surface, a movie with a "farting dead Harry Potter" (and trust me, that's not even a spoiler as crazy as it sounds) is ripe for ridicule but the film is so much more than that and is quite poignant at times. It's not surprising that the directors came from doing music videos as the technical aspects in the directing in this film were quite ingenious and indicative of that type of format. The acting from Radcliffe and Dano was incredible, it's worth seeing the film just for the performances alone. These are the types of films I love and the experience I long for at a film festival. I want to be shown something unexpected and great and outside the box and have no idea what is going to happen next. Trailers these days give away far too much of the plot so it's refreshing to come to a festival and sit and watch a movie I know nothing about and be surprised all along the way. Don't read anything on this film, just give it a chance and go in with no knowledge or expectations. It's a magical experience.

Swiss Army Man (2016) Movie Review

Love it or hate it, it's one film from 2016 that most definitely will not be forgotten.

The Jury Prize for Best Directing caused more than a few controversies at this year's Sundance Film Festival with some audience members walking out, while others complained about the film's uncouth behavior. What might get lost in the mix is how impressively this unique and uncompromised debut feature can be seen through completely opposite lenses.

One way of responding to SWiSS ARMY MAN could be to contagiously laugh at the screwball actions of Hank (Paul Dano), a man stranded on a desert island with a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe). Another way would be to question Hank's reliability as a narrator and view this surreal, spiritual spiral as an existential journey into complete madness. Either way, Daniel Radcliffe's performance as a dead body is the kind of profound achievement you might expect from a Harold Pinter or Samuel Beckett play.

Swiss Army Man is not just the most infamous film at Sundance this year; It is the perfect Hollywood calling card for first time filmmakers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinart, as well as being a completely neo-sincere film. Movie lovers should put aside all of its buzz and just experience it for themselves. Love it or hate it, it's one film from 2016 that most definitely will not be forgotten.

Swiss Army Man (2016) Movie Review

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