Swiss Army Man: The Most Creative and Unique Film of the Year
No joke, I saw the trailer for Swiss Army Man LAST week and knew I just had to see it. The concept was just mind blowing for me, and the fact that one of my favorite actors, Paul Dano, was in it made me want to see it even more. He is an actor who chooses his projects very carefully and I have yet to see him in a film I haven’t liked, so when I know he’s in a movie, I know it’s one I need to see.
If you haven’t seen this trailer, or even heard of this film (because I hadn’t before last week), it is a Sundance indie film about a man named Hank (Dano) about to kill himself while stranded on an island. Just before, he notices a body on the shore, played by none other than Daniel Radcliffe. Yea, that got my attention as well. Eventually, he learns that Radcliffe’s body can do amazing things. We see in the trailer that he can feed him water, shoot gas out of his body as a propeller, and even launch items from his mouth in a forceful manner to use as a weapon. And trust me, there’s even more he can do! Hence the name, Swiss Army Man.
Hank uses Radcliffe’s body to get him off the island to shore and then help him find his way home. It is through this adventure where Radcliffe’s body comes ‘alive’ and begins to talk; soon telling us his name is Manny. Then the real story begins.
The concept is absolutely ridiculous. Don’t worry. No spoilers here. The only comparison I can think of is Weekend at Bernie’s. This film is probably one of the most unique and creative films I have ever seen in my life, let alone it will easily be the most creative film of 2016.
Radcliffe and Dano both deliver stellar performances. I’d even argue this is a pivotal role for Radcliffe’s career. He is clearly trying hard to distance himself from the Harry Potter series, and with films such as this, Horns, and the upcoming Imperium, he is doing a spectacular job at that! Radcliffe is showing us he as a lot to offer and I, for one, am very excited about that.
I also have to add in just a small part about the music. I’m using the word ‘creative’ a lot, but holy crap was it cool how they incorporated the score into the film. I won’t say how they did it, but it was incredibly unique and put a big smile on my face!
The story has a lot of heart in it. We spend quite a bit of time in the forest learning about our two leads, even though we never quite learn the history of Radcliffe’s Manny, but that’s fine. It adds to the mystery of the whole thing. There are a couple morals you can take from the film, both having the theme of being weird. First of, it teaches us that it’s OK to be ‘weird;’ different. We’re all different, at least, we think we are. But really, we have more in common than we think or dare to discuss. The second, when something feels or is considered weird, it really only takes one more person to do that same thing for it to no longer consider it weird. Weird tends to be related to uniqueness or different, but when multiple people do it, it isn’t so ‘weird’ any more.
Swiss Army Man has a lot of humor in it and emotion if you really pay attention to it. It starts off weird and, yea it gets weirder. But that’s OK. These characters are great and completely pull you into this film! For anyone who has ever hesitated talking to a girl/guy they found attractive, or felt like no one cared about them, or they couldn’t relate to anyone in their life, this movie is for you. In a weird way, this movie speaks for an entire group of people who consider themselves ‘weird.’ We’re all weird. It’s just a matter of accepting who you are!
So I beg and plead you, go see this film. Support these types of films which are not sequels, or remakes, or name brands. Yes, it’s weird, but not creepy weird. It’s different than anything you’ve ever seen before. And just when you think it’s going to snap back to reality, it pulls you right back into the rabbit hole. Swiss Army Man is the reason I go to the movies and it’s why I’m crazy about them. Sure, I love the Marvel films and Disney cartoons, but it’s the unique stories which pull me in and grab me until the credits roll at the end that are the true gems of cinema. Find this film and see it. Maybe you’ll love it like I did. Maybe you’ll severely question my taste afterward, but at least you’ll have seen something completely new and different…and weird!