Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Hesher": Worst Movie of the Year? Let's Hope So

The problem with "Hesher," which I hope is the worst movie of the year because I'd dread the thought there might be another of these lurking out there, is not in the moviemaking. That's just fine. Good direction, cinematography and acting. The sound could use some work. It is the story that is completely lacking in humanity, warmth, grace, dignity, life lessons of value, humor, even something as simple as a bath.

Here's how the synopsis describes the plot: "A bullied little boy grieving the death of his mother strikes up an unlikely friendship with a Metallica-loving anarchist in this tender yet unsentimental childhood drama." That's not what the movie is about and to call Hesher anybody's "friend" is to stretch the truth to lengths that would embarrass a politician. "Tender"? Where? "Unsentimental"? You have to reach a certain level of humanity to find anything sentimental.

I sat there (at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke) as the titles scrolled wondering why the story was written, how it got published and what in the world possessed a lot of talented people to work on making it a movie. It has absolutely nothing of any value to relate to any of us, unless our day has been so joyous and blessed that we need to be brought down a notch or 10.

What we have here is a worthless slacker who insinuates himself into the lives--and home--of a grieving family (Mom has just died in an auto accident) at its most vulnerable and weakest moment. Dad has become totally dependent on anti-depressive drugs, Grandma is obviously dying of something and stays high on medicinal marijuana all the time and the young son--small for his age and bullied--is so stupid he can't do something as simple as tell a cop or anybody else in authority that a nutcase has moved into his house and taken over and that a truly nasty kid at school is bullying him.

Throw in a Natalie Portman (how the hell did she get in here?) portrayal of a part-time grocery clerk whose life is crap and you have everything this movie offers: nothing. There is no saving grace (that's a spoiler, but I don't care; you should not waste your time seeing it) in the beginning, middle or end and nobody comes out better in the end, when the wrecked car in which Mom died winds up in the driveway after being crushed by the recycler. Yippie-do. A positive moment. Relatively speaking.

Let's let this tomato die on the vine, un-sampled. It was spoiled before being picked. "Hesher" was so bad it made me angry.

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