Friday, June 27, 2008

Eagle vs. Shark

Any fan of Flight of the Conchords should seriously consider seeing this movie. It stars Jemaine Clement as a socially awkward, revenge seeking, eagle loving, video game champion. Also, he's the romantic lead. Lily (Lauren Horsley) notices Jarrod (Clement) as he comes into the fast food chain she works at for lunch every day. After finagling her way into a costume part of his, the two begin dating and Lily struggles to understand their relationship while helping Jarrod exact revenge on his high school bully.

The best way to describe the tone of this movie is that it's like Napoleon Dynamite, except in a New Zealand kind of way. The one difference is that no one seems to judge Jarrod for his quirks, even the seemingly normal people. Even Lily is herself quite normal, and simply stunning, but you see her admire Jarrod even from the first frame, when we're still not sure what she sees in him.

What this film does beautifully is to distract your attention from any major conflict (the stakes are impossibly low) while all the while subtly hinting that there is something more important going on here. And I'm a big fan of subtlety. Suddenly it becomes a film about the complexity of relationship (romantic and otherwise) and the effort to live up to people's expectations. But it does all this while making you cringe in delight at the earnestness of Lily and Jarrod.

As if that weren't enough, there is one line that adeptly sums up all the aching and frustration simmering below the surface throughout this film: "I want to say two things. One: I'm leaving tomorrow on a bus. Two: That might change."

I can't tell you how much I liked this film. If I were the type of person to inflict an arbitrary rating system on you, this movie would get a full 7 out of 7 eagles. Because they're slightly better than sharks.

1 comment:

HPLuvr said...

And yet nothing about English sad.