Monday, June 14, 2010

Sydney Film Festival Day 13 Hesher

Hesher came to Sydney straight from Sundance. Turns out the print shown at Sundance was unfinished and the director only finished editing it 21 hours before showing yesterday.

The film opens with young TJ (arm in a cast) on a bike chasing a tow-truck through suburban streets. Hooking you straight away. Hesher becomes a film about loss. TJ's family are barely living and definitely not functioning. A senseless act of TJ's causes Hesher's current squat to be exposed and he decides to move in with the family. Starting off by terrorising TJ, Hesher who is an outsider and loner influences the family and how they are dealing with their greif at losing their mother/wife.

I would love to tell you this film was touching, quriky and illuminating. Unfortunately much of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance is chaotic for effect rather than character and a scene where he runs young teenager TJ over when he won't get in the van is apalling.

The films one good scene where TJ's obsession with re-possessing the family car and his reliving of the accident that killed his mother is interrupted by a real life and terrifying event is magic. Unfortunately the rest of the film does not live up. Some laughter in pockets but the film is chaotic in search of a cohesive message.

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