Paul Dano rides Daniel Radcliffe’s perpetually farting,half-dead/near catatonic body through the ocean. Just process how crazy that image is. Whether you enjoy that thought or turn away in disgust,Swiss Army Man is a movie that embodies the kind of fearless approach and unhinged joy that makes it hard to label. If you can cut through the facetious humour and absurdity of its plot,you’ll find an otherworldly bromance that speaks of worldly sensibilities. As for me,I didn’t have to put up with anything,I found the humour and plot funny and unusually emotional-I rode along with this crazy adventure from start to finish.
They say no man is an island,but what about two men? Swiss Army Man begins with hilarious moments,most of which come from the superb chemistry between Dano and Radcliffe. Dano finds Radcliffe washed up on the beach just before he decides to hang himself.In a moment of comedic realisation,Dano is convinced that his chance encounter with Radcliffe has a greater purpose…maybe his farting misadventures could potentially mean something. What happens from here is somewhat a rite of passage for our characters. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Sceinert rely on the symbiosis of its two main characters to generate a sense of feel-good and humour. Paul Dano is effortlessly dumbfounded at every turn and yet,by chance or design,unexpectedly resourceful. In both on screen and off, Paul Dano sets up Daniel Radcliffe’s exotic act. Here is the wizarding prodigy gone rogue…and boy does he stupefy you with this one 😉 Playing dead,then half-dead, then obnoxiously alive (hey what’s masturbation?) easily comes off as annoying. Radcliffe is hardly boring.
There is a fine line that separates childish absurdity and mad fun. Swiss Army Man is a bit of both but not either. I feel like Kwan and Sceinert intended for us to feel like there’s a message encompassing the madness, a method behind this strange delirious joy. I felt like the movie had something to say about the way we connect with our fellow man and the significance of such a bond in an age where the private space is inevitably infringed upon by the public. With dramatic elements that felt like a nice shift in tone, it’s quite a shame that the very last scene of the movie doesn’t hone in on its themes. But still I appreciated whatever little nuggets of deeper meaning that was teased in the film. With the stoner-film vibes and surrealistic humour, I can best describe Swiss Army Man as a trippy fruitcake; It’s sweet and overwhelming but polarizing…and if you let yourself sink in, you might find a few worthwhile gems.