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T.J. (Devin Brochu) and his father Paul (Rainn Wilson) have recently suffered a traumatic loss that leaves them living with T.J.'s grandmother (Piper Laurie) and retreating into depression. T.J., who has found himself frequently tormented at school, becomes reclusive from those around him, while Paul wanders around the house in a prescription drug-induced daze. One day, T.J. stumbles upon Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), whose name and presence seem to be accompanied by the music of Metallica. In a classic example of deus ex machina, Hesher appears out of nowhere, with no back-story, and no reason to be in the film. He looks like a Grunge-era reject, drives a beat-up old van, has an upraised middle finger tattooed on his back, and seems to embrace chaos. He's also indifferent to societal rules; willfully disrespectful, vulgar, and violent. Despite T.J.'s protests, he moves into T.J.'s house and no one seems to care.Read more ›
Rarely in a film do I find a quote within it that perfectly describes the lessons it's trying to portray. In "Hesher", directed by Spencer Susser, this quote resonated with me. It was not until I heard that line that I fully understood what this movie was about. "Hesher" is a great film. One with a lot of heart and some brilliant writing. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the outrageous Hesher perfectly and is by far (aside from "Mysterious Skin") his best work to date.
"Hesher" plays out like a weird dream. T.J., impressively played by Devin Brochu, is a young boy struggling with the loss of his mother. He lives with his father Paul and his grandmother. Paul, played by Rain Wilson, has fallen into a deep depression letting go all of his responsibility to his son and his own mother. It's a very tragic situation they are in. In a fit of rage T.J. vandalizes what he thinks is an unoccupied building and as a result is confronted by Hesher, terrifying T.J. in the process. Hesher decides to follow T.J. to his home and lets himself in. T.J. can't do anything about this random person entering the house, doing laundry and generally just making himself at home for fear that Hesher will harm his family. What follows is a plethora of black comedy and heartfelt change within both Hesher and this distraught family.
At it's heart, "Hesher" is a film about not being able to see the things that are right in front of us until an outsider smacks us in the face with reality. This isn't apparent in the beginning of the film, but as Hesher gets to know the family and the situation they are in he goes from "house squatting" to being part of the family.Read more ›
The movie had a great premise and definitely was going for an independent movie feel but just didn't hit the mark.
Seemed more annoying than interesting.
The actors did an excellent job. There were many scenes you sit and ask yourself, in a good way, "What just happened here?" Or "What the heck is he doing now?" Life as usual falls to its least common denominator as the grief stricken family starts to imitate the anarchist ways, which seem to lack consequences in this film. Parts of the film were excellently done, while other scenes were weak. I suppose the ending of the film was supposed to make us feel good about the whole thing, but it doesn't compensate enough. Personally I think that if they toned down the crudeness of Hesher and put in Zack Garifalakis in that role the movie could have been a box office smash.
Normally I love these indie style quirky comedies, perhaps I have seen too many of them to enjoy this one to its fullest. And what the heck was Natalie Portman doing in this film?
Excessive F-bomb use, crudeness.
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