Friday, March 31, 2017
SWISS ARMY MAN (2016)
Written & Directed By: The Daniels (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert)
Cinematography By: Larkin Seiple
Editor: Matthew Hannam
Music By: Andy Hull & Robert McDonnell
Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Shane Carruth, Andy Hull
A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.
As this film isn't very conventional. It is hard to review it as one. As watching this film has it's experimental moments. That makes it feel more like an experience rather than. Just watching something. As you will either get on It's wavelength and relate or hate it outright.
It seems a film more designed to get some kind d of reaction from you. It desires a more emotional reaction from you. So that you can feel bonded to it. Not in a clothing hallmark movie manipulative way, it more in an open minded universal. Everything is linked by nature kind of way it seems.
Though some will easily compare this movie to it. Based partially on the premise. The film is Funnier than WEEKEND AT BERNIES 2 and better than WEEKEND AT BERNIES. Though not as funny as WEEKEND AT BERNIES.
The character played by Daniel Radcliffe certainly lives up to the film's title as he seems to become an answer to most of Paul Dano's characters needs as they are both stuck on this island away from civilization, but the thing he most needs is love and companionship basically a Confidante and friend. Though he does provide as a helpful tool and ride also giving him strength to go on with life. As well as working as a distraction and activity partner.
The film can be gross at times and that might be the tipping point for some audience members as this was a film that was described as the farting corpse movie for awhile. Prompting some audience members at it’s premiere to leave the film early.
This is one of the more original WTF?! type of. Film. But it presents itself with a certain kind of grace. As it is something you will never see repeated anywhere.
As the tide tends to turn in this movie. We are luckily discovering it to a degree with Radcliffe's character as we know nothing of this situation with the characters really and what we do know is sketchy at best.
The film has it’s moments of dry humor like having the main character be named Hank Thompson based on the role Tom Hanks played in the movie CASTAWAY another film about a man stranded on an island alone who makes friends with a inanimate object as a companion.
Like a limited Pinocchio Radcliffe's character seems to become a real boy after his tears and wish for a companion or at least live enough to keep him company. He always comes through when he needs him. Even though things must be explained to him like a child.
The film is quirky, far off and yes at times disgusting but only if you think about it too much. This seems more like male buddy film more than anything else. Only a more existential artistic one. Also an runaway teenagers fantasy dream of living in the woods off the land so maybe more of a boy scout's dream.
Though this film has an unparalleled originality of vision and ideas. Some that are too long and loses it's power somewhat so that it feels for like lingering.
What also Helps this film work is that it is so off kilter. It is hard to know what is real what might be the characters imagination. It all feels like fantasy but when reality hits it hits hard and almost feels like it pulls the rug from under us and the film. Though it still has it's magic.
You can tell from the use of montages that the director's previous work was in music videos, but here they have made a marvel of a movie that seems to D.I.Y. As an inspiration and way of life. Despite the technical achievements.
The film captures. It only what it feels like to fall in love, but what love can be even if one sided, for a moment or more of an ideal. It can ultimately be survival. Even if you more out of it than Was actually there. And it like this film is impossible to describe.
It's soundtrack reminded me of THE THIN RED LINE. Remote taking place on an island and all about camaraderie and loneliness. Both soundtrack rely on more vocalization for music. That makes it feel more indigenous and natural as are the surroundings in the films. That let you cut to the heart the nitty gritty and not so much posturing and hiding. As the music is vital and makes you feel like the characters are constantly on the hunt for what they need to survive not so much for luxury. All of the music is done with the sounds of human voices even for instruments.
Strangely the film’s directors and one of the stars all have the same first name of Dan. Which just shows The film’s has a style that is idiodyncratic and meticulous in it’s nature that throws the audience off but as the movie goes along it peels off it’s layers to reveal a certain amount of depth and heartbreak that shows a fragility and honesty. As it shows the audience that you can have or showcase something that can be universally felt while also being your own individual self