Dir: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
Official Selection: Sundance
Official selection SxSW
This is one of those films where you’re either all the way in or all the way out - and you’ll know which side of the fence you’re on about 10 minutes into this startlingly strange buddy comedy.
Daniel Radcliffe plays Manny - a dead body washed up on a deserted island inhabited by a sole long-time shipwrecked young man - Hank.
Through the magic of decomposition, Manny’s body provides Hank with his one time only opportunity to literally propel him off his tiny island and in what is actually an hilarious sequence, Hank grabs hold of it.
From there a strange kind of metaphysical friendship evolves between Hank and Manny - Hank being convinced the more he can make Manny remember his past life the more chance he stands of bringing Manny back to life. Along their journey though Hank discovers even more of Manny’s unique decompositional powers that allow him to survive in the most inhospitable conditions.
There are two things here. One is the really great art direction and visualisations in the film. Alongside the truly surreal there are some fantastically realised set pieces. The other is the rapid rising of Radcliffe as a producer and backer of all manner of obscure, high-risk and high-concept narrative features. He’s staking some firm ground and along with the likes of James Franco, he’s carving out his own special niche in independent cinema.
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