Posted Sep 30 2016
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Swiss Army Man - This Dead Man Farting Movie Rocks

Dir: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Starring Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe

Full marks to Dan Radcliffe for opting to play a farting corpse for most of this movie. And not just any farting corpse, but one’s who’s copious wind output can easily convert said corpse into a once-human jet ski, so powerful it can remove a suicidal Paul Dano from what appears to e a tropical desert island, to what my well be a piece of shrubland somewhere rather closer to home.

It’s fair to say that Kwan and Scheinert’s film (the call themselves “The Daniels”) is not your run of the mill buddy movie. It is a blackly comic exploration of grief, called somewhere between Castaway and Weekend At Bernie’s.

It’s also strangely rather endearing – aided and abetted by a great score by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, which is literally the music inside the head of Dano’s Hank. In said head (possibly?) Radcliffe’s Manny seems to become reanimated as they struggle to find their way back to the real world.

Swiss Army Man is a delightfully inventive film that stands on two strong performances. Dano is the more animated of the two – naturally, the other one is dead. But Radcliffe knows how to underplay perfectly – all wind, unwanted erections and deadpan. Literally dead-pan.

Its charms turn to a sense of loss and mental ill-health, which the directors generally handle well. But at its best, it’s an off-kilter pleasure, played to perfection by its two leads. Even the dead one. Hell, especially the dead one.

 

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