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Tuesday
May172011

Hesher

♥♥♥

I'm rooting for this movie, I really am. Despite its broad stroke direction and heavy handed edits, the not terribly well constructed characters or the pretty average script. I want it to do well. So you know what, stop reading, and go see it. It's on at the Angelika, I'll still be here when you come back.

~~~Musical Interlude~~~

Subtlety is not this film's strong suit. Especially concerning the title character Hesher. From his punctuated introduction to the metaphoric anecdotes he doles out. Pretty much everything he does is the film trying to convey to you who this character is, in the end, not actually offering you a real person. And apart from Hesher, every other character is just, pretty sad. They use some very decent actors in this. "Use" is probably not the right word, they weren't really used to their full effect. With so little to work with, no matter how touching the performances, it all just fell short of the kind of emotional impact you know they were going for.

It was enjoyable enough, there were some funny moments, some oh-shit-fuck! moments, one poignant moment, and only once did I think I was getting a little bored (this happens more often than you'd think). Moment to moment I did like this. You know what I think it is? Looking at the last 3 heart film I reviewed (Water for Elephants), even though I thought it was just kind of alright, the whole production was so slick and seamless, you were in safe hands. It follows the formula of minor conflict every 3 pages, major conflict rearing its head in every act, everything culminating at the climax, etc etc. It was like the conveyor belt of Hollywood Narratives. When you veer away from that formula, a lot of other things needs to work together just to keep the audience interested. In most successful indie films, this means either some superb acting jobs, or careful observation, or ideally both. In the case of Hesher, it just wanted to yell the story at you. I think I just never want to feel like I'm being told the story, but rather I'm discovering it along with the eye of the camera.

The themes of this movie is loss, grief, and juvenile aggression. I feel like there are plenty of films out there that deals with just this, in a more elegant way, but somehow I can't think of any just at the top of my head. So hey, what do I know?

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