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August 14, 2016 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Swiss Army Man

★★★★

Directors: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan

 

This is about the strangest film you’re likely to see this year. If you haven’t heard of it (or seen the trailer), a brief summation would be that Hank (Paul Dano) is lost in the wilderness with nothing but the corpse of Manny (Daniel Radcliffe), giving a somewhat limp performance for company and survival. As it turns out, Manny has a few tricks up his decomposing sleeves and he and Hank go on a quest to get back to civilisation, whereupon they both learn important life lessons.

Bar the fact that one of the characters is dead, this could have been a fairly middle of road affair, but what occurs on screen is a blisteringly original tale, that is both heartfelt and hilarious with a beautiful message to match its ridiculous premise. Hank is fantastic as the run down everyman who is stranded in the physical sense, and the emotional. He pines after a girl he’s never spoken to and watched everyday on the bus. Radcliffe gives a potential career best as Manny, dead-un-dead corpse who farts, a lot, and it’s probably the best flatulent humour you’ll see in any movie, period.

But acting and comedy aside, the story pulls through with a strong afore-mentioned message of isolation, repression, and longing for companionship, which elevates the material to new heights. The second act may not have the pace (although it does contain a lot of beautiful production), and the ending may not land exactly how most people want it too, but it’s a truly charming movie and it’s all wrapped up in a heartbreaking soundtrack, and yes, farts.

[ssba]

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