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Sundance Film Festival: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe excellent in "Swiss Army Man"
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Jan 23, 2016 | 5470 views | 0 0 comments | 401 401 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Joyce Kim | Sundance Film Festival
Photo by Joyce Kim | Sundance Film Festival
slideshow

No rating, but there's some swearing, lots of farting, and talk of sex

Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Starring Paul Danno, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and more

Grade: 

People overuse the phrase "You've never seen anything like this," but this time it's actually true.

"Swiss Army Man" is the most unique movie I've ever seen, so without precedent that it's almost impossible to rate – judgment is an act of comparison, and there's simply nothing equitable out there to compare this to. Whether you like it or not, you've definitely never seen anything like it.

I don't want to tell you too much about the plot, because the experience of watching the movie is a hilarious, oddly touching and extremely surreal journey that I don't want to deprive you of. But I will give you a couple of interesting facts – Daniel Radcliffe's character is a corpse, and Paul Dano's character has to convince Radcliffe's character that life is worth living.

There is also a lot of farting, which is used comedically, narratively, and occasionally to facilitate a deeply meaningful moment. Though some people in the audience were clearly uncomfortable, that's simply a part of the experience – the movie itself explores the deep discomfort people feel over very natural parts of life.

Dano and Radcliffe are both excellent, engaging and emotionally honest. They're also clearly completely dedicated to the movie, and the complete abandon with which they throw themselves into the movie's absurdities slowly convince the audience to take it seriously as well. Even as you're laughing, you're never shaken free of the story at all. You need, quite desperately, to know what happens next.

Of course, even after watching the whole movie I'm still not entirely sure what happened. At the same time, I'm also sure that I'll never forget it.

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