Monday 27 April 2009

Review: Observe and Report

Year: 2009
Director: Jody Hill
Screenplay: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen, Ray Liotta, Anna Faris

Film synopsis is here

Observe and Report is a Marmite film. I get the feeling that people will either vomit with rage/disgust or laughter after watching this film. For me I giggled my ass off. It's the kind of taboo comedy I like. The kind of comedy that lurks in the nasty corners of my mind, the comedy that says "you shouldn't laugh at this, but you are ain't you?!". It's also a comedy that hits home from a personal aspect.

The uncomfortable silences, the over long awkward moments, I enjoyed those moments but what made me laugh is the end of the film; a sudden moment of incredible violence occurs and a character is not reprehended in the slightest. I laughed....hard and i continued laughing after the film ended and I question what happened. No matter how disturbed the lead character becomes, he gets away with everything he does. I laugh because everyone seems fine with some of his outrageous aspects of character, no one (truly) questions him or provides correct help and yet he's allowed to do these things. It's funny because I've seen it happen. The element of truth behind the film is so close to the bone that it scrapes it.

The film constantly reminds me of certain elements of my life that have affected me in the last couple of years that amuse when you see the absurdity of it all*. So absurd, that one wonders...whose the more crazy? The nutjob or the people that allow it?

Writer/Director Jody Hill wanted to make a comedic version of Taxi driver and succeeds due to a comedic performance by Seth Rogen (supported with great turns by Liotta and Farris). Ronnie is a tirade of foul mouth comments, prejudice and visual tics. He's a timebomb waiting to snap and the simple fact that no one seems to recognise that I found hilarious. I hope to see Rogen take more chances with different material like this because it's as far removed from his usual happy go lucky stoner shtick he can get. I read a message board comment complaining that the role is no more than "a Will Farrell bit". Each to their own but I feel that the poster misses the point, as Rogen's role isn't a copy but more of a deconstruction of the Farrell man-child, played to the extreme and play to it's actual pitch. Farrell has made a rep of playing "lovable fools" Rogen's display shows the "man-child" for what it can be: a disturbed human being. Why is that funny? Because it's car crash cringe worthy....we all want to look away. We've all walked on the other side of road to the freaky bastard that talks to himself. Maybe I'm completely wrong but maybe it's funny because the joke is on us.

*Your not going to find out about my personal life.