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Hesher (2011) – 91/100

Hesher is a head thrashing joy with an all-star cast and a hypnotizing subtlety. First of all, Natalie Portman is in this film. Second of all, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in this film. And third of all, the lead youngbull Devin Brochu throws the most justified and least annoying tantrums I have ever seen, and is superb at embodying childlike uninhibited emotions. Plus, The Office’s Rain Wilson is in it! Essentially, this film is perfectly cast and played.

The subject matter is also one of my dark favorites, Hesher is a film about overcoming loss, breaking off self-isolation and self-protection, and embracing the world despite all the pains this journey may be riddled with. The editing of this film was exceptional, and used to a deliberate artistic aim. The end may have been a bit emotionally manipulative, with its use of slo-mo and post-rock dramatics, but, since it was totally agreeable, I condone it.

What made this film so likable for me was its devil may care attitude, and general endorsement of fearlessness and acceptability. At times, title character Hesher’s insane antics were a bit over the top, but such unrestrained vulgarity is necessary to counterbalance his frequent moments of metaphoric wisdom. This is a film riddled with irony, short (90 minutes) and sweet, and strong in point. Some may say it is a crass movie, but only severe shortsightedness and a fixation of the superficial will lead you astray from enjoying this film. Despite its Metalica-esque stylization, an all-black attitude is not necessary to love this film. So please, see it, even if you only have a tiny punk side to you.

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