So after months and months of waiting ‘Swiss Army Man’ has finally made its way into Northern Irish screens thanks to one of two independent cinemas in the country. This film has had a strange journey to get here, starting with walkouts at festivals which wasn’t the best start for it. However with its theatrical release the film earned a lot more praise and many film fans have claimed it as one of their favourites of the year. I didn’t have too many expectations for it I was just happy to finally be in on one of the most talked about movies of the year.
Over the year it’s been hard not to catch wind of some of the narrative elements to this film however not even all this talk could have prepared me for what I witnessed. ‘Swiss Army Man’ is probably the most bizarre film I have ever seen and unfortunately not in a good way. I just couldn’t buy into this ridiculous narrative, what the actual hell was going on!? As soon as Daniel Radcliffe’s character appeared on screen I became completely alienated by this movie due to it’s completely bonkers premise. There is a lot of ambiguity throughout the narrative of what is actually happening which frustrated me, I wanted more clear cut answers to what I was seeing because I was just unable to process much of it. The finale does little to help this issue, in actual fact confusing things more so. Due to this I found the pacing for this relatively short movie to be incredibly slow. The fact that I couldn’t accept this ludicrous story meant that from the offset this film had to undergo an uphill battle to make me engaged in anything taking place on screen.
I can’t deny that this film is well made and I was impressed by the more technical elements on show here. As well as this I thought the performances were good too, Paul Dano nails the crazy stranded guy role and Daniel Radcliffe somehow manages to come off well despite the strangest role of his career. I appreciated the score too, largely made up of Dano and Radcliffe singing, it was strangely catchy and I’m still repeating it back in my head as I write this review. The film has a lot of attempts at humour too, there is one main gag which revolves around physical humour. I didn’t find this funny the first time so its repetitive nature during the film was completely lost on me. To be honest it comes back to the narrative, my utter bemusement at what I was watching prevented me from engaging with the comedy and therefore I didn’t think it was particularly good. Saying that, those who can suspend their disbelief easier than me will probably find the film is a laugh a minute. There is certainly an audience for this film however it most certainly isn’t me.
‘Swiss Army Man’ is without a doubt the most unique film of the year and because of that I reckon you’ll either love it or hate it. I’m sure it’s pretty obvious which side I fall under, although my reaction to this film could well be what the narrative is getting at. I’ll probably never know though because the mad narrative constantly distracts and dumbfounds in a way that I found was of detriment to the rest of the movie.
Rating – 4/10
Question: What is the weirdest film you have seen this year?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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