What can I say about this film that would capture how utterly bizarre and simultaneously beautiful it is? Swiss Army Man, a film by The Daniels Kwan and Scheinert, stars Paul Dano as a disillusioned man stranded on a deserted island. Dano’s character Hank is just about to commit suicide when he sees a body wash up on the shore. Daniel Radcliffe plays the flatulent corpse that Hank names Manny. After realizing that Manny is already dead, Hank goes back to his suicide attempt. He quickly realizes though, that just because Manny is dead, doesn’t mean he’s useless. Thus begins their journey of incredible friendship and self discovery.
Still with me? Yes, this film is as odd as it sounds. One of the main characters is a dead body with a gas issue (which is remedied by a wine cork – don’t ask) but if you can get past that, this film is so much more than a fart joke. Its about the uncomfortable truths of friendship and society and all the ways that they impact us.
As they trek through the wilderness on this epic adventure to bring Hank back to society and the woman he loves, they both discover what life is about; why we hide certain aspects of ourselves, and what it means to be free. This is a film about accepting every part of yourself and every part of life. The good, the bad, and the strange.
The Daniels have gifted us with some beautiful cinematography here. Their understanding of creating scenes that entice the senses is truly amazing. There are a few moments that are nothing short of ridiculous but the way they are framed and the interesting use of music push the viewer past any preconceived notions and towards accepting something different.
If you are open to adventure I highly suggest you go see this film. In a world full of remakes and a formulaic sameness this film is a slightly bewildering breath of fresh air.
Watch the trailer for Swiss Army Man on YouTube: