Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hesher (2010, Spencer Susser)

"Hesher" is kinda like Takashi Miike's "Visitor Q" without all the weird shit. It's a more comprehensible and clear-cut version, if you will - not to say that was necessarily the intention, but the similarity is there. That said, I actually really enjoyed "Hesher" for it's tenebrous proclivity and the odd interpretation it reveals as up-lifting.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt terrifically pulls off the role of Hesher, a mysterious drifter and loner with a rough looking van and a serious liking for heavy metal who ensconces himself in the home of a father, son, and grandma who are all in a grief-stricken rut after the death of a close loved one. The kid is subjected to constant bullying, the dad is a depressed pill-head who sleeps all day, and the granny is seemingly oblivious to her family's extreme tribulation. As Hesher sits on their couch, eats their food, plays loud, shitty guitar riffs in their garage, he absorbs the apathetic routine of the pathetic household and begins helping them adjust in his own lawless kind of way. This tends to entail fully lashing out at those who wrong you...

All of the performances are stellar, namely Levitt who formulates a very compelling and enigmatic character who is clearly a mixed bag of unpredictable temperaments. He can be calm and reasonable, insane and frightening, or wise and cunning. The best thing about his character, for me personally, was the random metaphor usually pertaining to graphic sexual experiences in his past. Natalie Portman is also pretty good as a grocery store cashier who becomes involved in Hesher's antics every-so-often; however, her character is a bit pointless, if you ask me. Rainn Wilson once again pops up as the obvious "niche" character he was born to play: the depressed, wife-less suburban man. And, of course, that kid was amazing! I've never seen a child SO abused throughout a film...

I'd definitely recommend "Hesher". It's not a perfect film by any means, but those who like melancholy films, such as myself, will certainly get a kick out of it.

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