About – Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded on a deserted island. Whilst, he gives up on life and tries to hang himself, Hank sees a washed up dead body, Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). He befriends Manny and together they go on a dreamy and surreal journey.
Swiss Army Man is one of the most bizarre and unique films to come out of 2016. You will either love or loathe it. Due to its weird but wonderful storytelling, to its, strange Swiss Army Man, Manny character. It will either make you cringe and turn it off or make you cringe and see what other surprises it has in store.
Hank (Paul Dano) is the sort of character that you just want to hold and tell him everything is going to be ok. Hank has a mind of his own and tries to come to terms with ‘normal’ life through this journey with Manny. For instance, going through the journey on how to get a woman’s attention. Paul, has a very special talent in playing the awkward but intelligent characters such as his character in Little Miss Sunshine and Prisoners. He delivers that unique persona to a character that is ideal in every way. There is no change in this performance, again a brilliant delivery of a man wanting to belong in a world that doesn’t understand him and on the contrary he doesn’t understand them.
Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) is one of the most uncomfortable characters to watch. Without a doubt, done brilliantly by Radcliffe. However, the character itself is hard to watch. As the title suggest, Manny is a swiss army man playing with words from the survival equipment swiss army knife. As you can imagine, Manny has a lot of tricks under his sleeve on helping Hank survive but also get home.
The humour is a very tough element within this film to get right. Depending on your own sense of humour, you will either find it extremely funny or just plain stupid. The humour is very childlike, but in certain parts very adultery and pop-cultured referenced. As in one scene, Hank is humming the theme song to Jurassic Park. Manny doesn’t understand what is happening, Hank gets frustrated and yells “If you don’t know Jurassic Park, you don’t know shit” within the context of the film and its surroundings this witty liner is comedy gold. However, there is a very thin line between stupidity and childlike comedy to actual laugh out loud humour, Swiss Army Man does both.
The score is something that a lot of people wasn’t expecting, on truth it was one of the things that really makes this film loveable. The score is very soothing, like lullaby music, this compliments the calmness of the characters and what can only be described as Manny’s mental age. This type of music captivates the deeper meanings of the film and makes us fixate on what is happening within the frame. It also transfixes us into the minds of the characters.
By the end of the film, you are either too weirded out by what has happened, that you just want to remember the funny/bizarre parts. Or forget the whole thing completely. However, by having a think about the meaning of the film, it can put your perception in a different way more than when you first walk away from the screen. There is a lot of hatred in one life, we don’t understand what everyone is going through, this can be seen at the end of the film where Hank wants to disappear into shadows of society, when really, he needs help after the trauma he has gone through. There are a few other meanings within the film too, making it a very thought provoking experience but well worth your time.