November 16, 2016

Swiss Army Man

Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinart, 2016
There hasn't been a movie made quite like Swiss Army Man, and theres a good chance there wont be another. Surely nobody has seen a movie about a morose castaway that befriends a farting corpse. Perhaps the best way to describe this film is to say its like Cast Away on mushrooms. The movie is almost entirely Paul Dano's Hank character interacting with deceased Manny, played by Daniel Radcliffe. Hank is on a small deserted island and has lost all hope. He's about to commit suicide and end it all for good when he sees Manny's body wash ashore. So desperate for human contact of any kind, he decides to scrap his plans for suicide and finds inspiration in silent Manny.

What follows is one of the most quirky films made in some time. A zombie bromance story. An imaginary friend movie. It's for the most part an incredibly quirky comedy, but there is certainly some heart in this film. Hank's character is truly tragic. Like the trash he discovers in the forest, he is a person disregarded by society - even before he was stranded. He is able to discover so much about himself through Manny. In a sense he is forced to rediscover everything that makes someone human, as Manny has no memory of his past life and Hank needs to start from square one. An unsettling revelation in the final moments of the film wrap things up quite nicely. Swiss Army Man has a place somewhere but it's definitely in a category of it's own.

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