Last night, I went to see Swiss Army Man – and it’s definitely the strangest film I’ve seen in a long time. I’m glad I got to see it, though.
The first five minutes tells you pretty much everything you need to know – Hank (Paul Dano) is a man alone on a deserted island, trying to commit suicide, and a corpse (Manny, played by Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on the beach. The corpse is loudly deflating, which disturbs his final moments, until he realises that he can use this farting corpse as an escape from the island, and rides him like a jet-ski out to sea.
And that’s just the start.
It’s worth pointing out that if you’re easily offended, just don’t even contemplate seeing this film.
But it’s not just gross-out fart jokes and weird stuff with a corpse. That would be too simple. There’s a *lot* more to this film. It’s strangely emotional, and says quite a bit about modern manners and squeamishness as well as about solitude, loneliness, and how people are.
In truth, I came out wondering what the hell I’d just seen – but also glad I’d seen it. Even having seen as many films as I have, I really have no valid reference points for describing what it’s like. And that’s an even harder task when also not giving anything away about the film.
I liked it, but I didn’t. I could see it again, and I’d come out just as confused as I currently am about it. There’s a lot of good stuff, and certain images will definitely last longer than they perhaps should.
I think it’s too much to call it ‘thought-provoking’, but it’s also not dumb, and there is stuff that keeps echoing back afterwards.
In short, I just don’t know about this film. I’m hard-pressed to recommend it, because it’s just *so* odd. But it’s also not bad, and if it weren’t so odd I’d say yes, go and see it.
A very Marmite “love it or hate it” film, I think.