Swiss Army Man (2016)

I’m just… Wow.

I don’t know what I just saw, but I kind of loved it. I mean, there were times where I was invested, and then there were times when it was the greatest movie I’d ever seen.

Again, wow. There’s nothing like this. Nothing.

The film centers around Hank (Paul Dano, Ruby Sparks) who is going to kill himself until he sees a corpse on the beach (Daniel Radcliffe). It turns out that the corpse farts like an engine, and that ends up getting Hank off the island. Once there, they have to survive until they find a way to get home, and the corpse (called Manny) is more than capable. He’s like a human Swiss Army knife, hence the title.

As the two become closer, Hank realizes that love is the one thing that brings Manny back to life. Hank loved a stranger once, and Manny believes that he loved her too, and so Hank tries to help Manny “get the girl.” They make a wooden bus in the woods, and Hank dresses up like the woman. On paper, it sounds like the oddest rubbish you’ve ever read, and it’s relatably creepy, but there is a power to seeing it on screen. It’s so gentle in its intentions.

Hank is not a loser; he was just a boy who didn’t know how to love himself, and so he never had the courage to speak up. You might’ve known that boy in high school, or you might have been that boy yourself. I’m still that boy, and that brings a dose of forgiveness to his actions. Be gentle, for his heart is broken. Be kind because it’s never spoken.

Through most of this film, I had the largest smile on my face, and I was thrilled to be alive. There is a playfulness to this motion picture, one that is absent in so many others, a kind of joy that is pure and true. And yet, there is no denying its oddity. Swiss Army Man will touch you in the sweetest of ways, but it is one weird ride.

3.5

Swiss Army Man is at the end of its unfortunately limited run. I’d give you a suggestion, but there’s really nothing else like it.

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