Just saw Hesher on itunes (available on amazon instant video also) … Below is my spoiler-free review.
Hesher is not a movie I will ever forget… With so many cliched films vomited through my brain, I can guess most of the outcomes of scenes and rarely get surprised anymore. The first time a movie or shot does something different it’s surprising to you like the first time you saw the shot of the passenger looking directly at you as a incoming car slams into us! However the second time is not so surprising because you think, ‘Oh yeah, saw that same shot on Lost.’ Years later, the shot doesn’t even faze me or spark an adrenaline jolt anywhere near the first time.
What the hell does that have to do with Hesher?
More than I could have hoped for… It has been years since I’ve been so surprised by a film. (he last film that surprised me on this scale was The Dark Knight. Actually there’s one other film that falls into this category and that’s Trollhunter.
Shut up and tell me what kind of surprises.
Gnarly stuff happen. Stuff I’ve never seen on screen.
Good or bad?
Both. This film has brutal parts man. But it also has some of the most hilarious/dramatic moments that had me laughing or gripping the sofa on how uncomfortable or heartbreaking some scenes were. It’s not a film that will have you feeling goody all through, it likes to rope the viewer around on the emotional landscapes of the human condition, from loss, sorrow, heartbreak, love, betrayal, friendship, forgiveness, dependence, and anarchy.
Lots of it. Stuff I’ve never thought of before. Hardcore fights. Kids too.
Cut to the chase. Is it good?
The one thing that really pains me about this film is that it could have been one of the greatest films ever.
What? So it’s just okay?
No! It gets 88/100 on my scale. Very few films get past 80 and even less to 88… what I’m meant is that if they took another stab at editing it they could have made it shorter at some parts and maybe longer at other places because the pacing is difficult to swallow at places.
Editing is an artform that has the curse of never reaching perfection, only deadlines. Every single film out there can be better with more editing. I know that’s a conversational statement but I have not met one seasoned editor who didn’t agree.
As for the cast, Natalie Portman delivered another pitch perfect performance. I see more oscars in her future, as for the lead… Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on my radar ever since performing alongside with the late Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. Mr. Gordon Levitt has since matured from person of interest into one of our generation’s finest actor. What other actor has the kind of range he has accomplished already? Don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on actors/actresses that do the same role for every film, I just personally have way more respect for hardcore actors like Daniel Day Lewis that completely transforms for every role and shying away from repeat roles. Honestly, I love Emma Stone but I can’t remember the name of her character from The House Bunny or Easy A… but with someone who has the skill and range of Heath Ledger, the first thing I think of is his character names, The Joker, Ennis De Mar, William Thatcher, and Skip.
I’ve seen many films with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it’s gotten to the point that I will see a film just because he’s in it. I can’t say the same about more than 4 or 5 actors. I know that actors have little to no control over how good the film will be but when that actor/actress aggressively searches for challenging and different roles… I respect that big time.
My favorite films with Joseph Gordon-Levitt: 10 Things I Hate About You, Brick, Brothers Bloom (cameo), 500 Days of Summer, Inception, and Hesher.
I cannot wait to see 50/50 but don’t know if I’ll be able to during the theatrical run, depends on if I can find a theater with subtitles for it. Another film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt that I’m counting the days down to is Looper. It’s due out in 2012, currently in post production… I got the fortunate opportunity to read the script and man it is EPIC.
In conclusion, Hesher is a uncomfortable film. It is also an amazing film but it undeniably feels like an acquired taste. What I mean is that it’s definitely not for everyone. (Violent with children, Strong language, and nudity)
Here’s my favorite quote, come back after watching it and then you’ll remember why it was funny
“You know snakes are named that because of the shape of their bodies.”
If you’ve seen the film please sound off in the comments section why you loved/hated it!