Next meeting

The next meeting will take place Monday at 5:30pm in COED 037. We will be announcing the dates and the theme for the spring film festival! We will also be discussing several other exciting opportunities coming up this spring! Be sure to attend and find out all the Campus film news!

Indie Thrills

Film: Hesher (2010)

Starring: Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu

Directed: Spencer Susser

Review by: Kendra Perry

 

 

For young T.J. Forney (Brochu) life has come to a complete halt since the death of his mother. He is bullied at school, his loving grandmother tries to hold things together and his father, Paul Forney (Wilson) has become completely disengaged from his life. Through it all T.J. doesn’t seem to let those things faze him and even attends group therapy sessions with his father. And then along comes Hesher (Gordan-Levitt), the train wreck that meets another train wreck.

After T.J. gets the long haired grunge squatter evicted from his current residence at an under construction housing development, Hesher moves himself into T.J.’s house. Hesher is the type your mother has always warned you about. He’s dirty, obnoxious, has no respect for anyone, smokes, enjoys pornography and setting things on fire, and that is really only the first part of the list. And although Hesher seems to ruin everything he touches, he is the catalyst for this broken family to live again. Part coming of age story, part comedy, part gritty drama, Hesher reevaluates the stereotypical badass and gives us something to appreciate him for-even if it’s just a moment of silence.

Unfortunately, Hesher’s golden cast is marred by the terrible acting of the extras. Brendan Hill who plays T.J.’s vile bully, Dustin, was more annoying with is horrible delivery of profanities and obscenities than his actual physical abuse against T.J. Granted he appears to be no more than thirteen and we can’t expect a Samuel L. Jackson delivery, at least a bit more effort could have been made to make it seem as though he’s been cursing since he learned to talk. Even, Brochu’s performance with certain lines seemed strained. Despite the intended edginess this creates, it continued to break my concentration with each awkward f-bomb.

And the awkwardness continued as Joseph Gordan-Levitt embraced the dark side with his edgy role. In the back of my mind, I kept seeing him in the typically mild-mannered roles he normally plays. (500 days of Summer, 50/50) It was a shock to see him strutting in his underwear smoking marijuana and setting diving boards on fire. Initially, With playing this middle-finger to the world character, I felt someone like Brad Pitt channeling a Tyler Duren (Fight Club) would have done better. Nevertheless, Pitt’s Duren would have never brought the secret empathy Hesher possess which Levitt delivered beautiful.

If there is one thing you can take back to your screenwriting workshops is how Hesher delivers conflict in heavy emotional doses. Even when you think T.J’s life could not get any lower, Spenser Susser pushes T.J. even further into the muck of his life before bringing him out again. If there was anything worth watching Hesher for it would be that. Brilliant use of plot, Susser, but what happened to everything else?