Warning: the following piece contains major spoilers for Swiss Army Man.
Swiss Army Man was incredibly strange, cinematically beautiful, thought-provoking and hopeful. This isn’t a normal movie going experience, in fact, two people quickly exited my theater within the first 20 minutes of this film. This is a movie which contains a lot of farts and boners but it deserves a chance.
It’s imaginative. It’s bizarre and full of farts. At times the farting device is used to supply laughs and help ease the audience into this new style of storytelling but by the end of the film, farting has become more than a bodily function, it contains more honest emotion than an actor crying on cue.
The directing team known as, Daniels, isn’t afraid to take traditional storytelling devices and turn them upside-down. The movie opens with Paul Dano (Hank) embracing the fact that his life is going to end. Audiences start at the end of a traditional timeline, only to be rapidly thrown forward into a world that questions reality. This entire story embraces weirdness and emotion in a way that feels completely original.
I’ll be honest, I’m a die-hard Harry Potter fan and it has always been hard to see Daniel Radcliffe outside of the role of Harry Potter. This was the movie that changed my perception of him. While playing Manny he completely embraces the role of an almost-dead corpse that cannot control his bodily functions, which turns into one of the best superpowers seen on screen this year (move over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). He adds dimensions to the role with his vocal choices and physical moves. His character fully plays off Paul Dano, the true standout of this film.
Dano is an amazing actor and brings the humanity to this humor filled yet emotional adventure. The feelings that Hank goes through was something that everyone can relate to. Everyone hopes that when their life flashes before their eyes it’s something beautiful and noteworthy. When in fact many are afraid of seeing nothing. This need for being remembered and standing out truly motivates us, for better or worse.
From the trailer, this seems like a funny, out-of-the-box film but this is a film that feels completely unique. It brings a level of honest emotion I wasn’t anticipating, with our modern technology playing a critical role throughout the film. We have captured moments in our lives within technology, we are living through technology instead of embracing real life. This is just one example of the complex layers of storytelling that can be found within this film. It’s about life, honest and fear.
Go into the theater with an open mind and no fear. If you feel the need to fart, embrace it. In all honestly, this is rapidly becoming one of my favorite movies of the year.
Fart away and embrace this bizarre journey.