I’m not a crier, but the tear that rolled down my cheek the first time I watched “Swiss Army Man” was hardly the most shocking part of the viewing experience.
In the film, Paul Dano plays Hank, a young man stranded on an island who is brought back from the verge of suicide by the unexpected relationship he develops with Manny, a flatulent cadaver portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe. Hank discovers that Manny’s lifeless body possesses mysterious powers, and he uses his newfound “multipurpose tool guy” to survive in a desolate wood and eventually rediscover a love for life itself.
Written and directed by the duo behind the viral “Turn Down for What” music video, “Swiss Army Man” won the award for directing in the United States dramatic category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and its bizarre premise and provocative storytelling have yielded mixed but generally positive reviews.
Despite its disarming oddness, I believe this is a film for everyone. For the philosophers, its unexpected tenderness speaks volumes about ourselves and our society. For the cinephiles, it’s a visual spectacle that features flawless acting and a dazzling original score. And for the lovers of cheap humor, its fart and boner slapstick gags are consistent enough to keep the chuckles coming
If you think this movie sounds terrible, I don’t blame you. By all rights it should be, and I can’t quite articulate why it isn’t. But with a meager 97-minute runtime and streaming availability on Netflix, I beg you to give it a try.
Reach contributing writer Eric Moeller at email@example.com. Twitter: @EricMoeller8
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