Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hesher (2010)

Director: Spencer Susser
Writers:  Spencer Susser, David Michod
Cast:       Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Brochu, Natalie Portman

A young boy (Devin Brochu) has lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him. Then he meets Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who manages to make his life even more chaotic.

According to urban dictionary a Hesher is a: "Reebock-wearing, mulleted person in acid-washed jeans and a Judas Priest T-shirt who, at the age of 28, still lives in his/her parents' basement and swears that he/she can really rock out on his/her Ibanez Stratocaster copy guitar and probably owns a Nova that hasn't run in 5 years but you just wait, that fucker is gonna smoke those fuckin Japanese rice burners once I put a new head gasket on it."

In this film Hesher is a Tyler Durden like character for the young boy even though it works outs in a different way. The film has so many WTF moments in it and even though the whole arc is predictable in a macro sense it doesn't follow the path that you think it would take to reach there. Hesher, who is not very articulative, uses several perverted metaphorical stories to convey what he feels about the situation to the three self pitying characters-Boy, father and Nciole (Natalie Portman). The film received really poor reviews and as I was enjoying watching the film, there were several points in it where you would feel it is gonna go mediocre, but they manage to pull it off with a 'What the Fuckery' moment, one after the other. In some places the character Niclole is poorly written and the flashback scene of the accident is done in a very enjoyable cheesy way. Since the film relies on the surprise paths it takes, I think it might not stand up well on a second watch. Nevertheless it is a really great watch with some very dark humor about it. 

David Michod had directed the very good Australian film 'Animal Kingdom' and his latest one 'The Rover' is getting good reviews. I tried for it in the usual places and since it was not available I turned my attention to Hesher which he had co-wrote. The characters that Joseph Gordon-Levitt played in the earlier part of his career are far more edgier and interesting than the ones he is making with the likes of Christopher Nolan. Hope he gets to do more roles that could stand shoulder to shoulder with his characters in 'Mysterious Skin', 'Brick', and 'Hesher'.

Rating: 4.5/5