Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hesher: Movie Review


Clever and drifting coming-of-age story about mayhem.
In the language of Hesher, the film is about a young man, an old lady, a young dude and a middle-aged dude. Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the young man, although he’s really anything but. He’s a homeless, drifting hippie causing mayhem in lieu of a rock-and-roll career. I suppose the film can be referred to the exact same way. It’s a drifting piece about sex, drugs and mayhem in a coming-of-age story with no real home. 2010

Directed by: Spencer Susser

Screenplay by: Spencer Susser and David Michod

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Devin Brochu

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Hesher" in HESHER, an Alliance Films release.
One of the show-stealers is the “little dude”, a boy, T.J., played by Devin Brochu. He’s trying to hang on to memories of his mother while his father wastes away on the couch and bullies beat him up at school. To him, Hesher is supposed to be his guardian angel, except instead of providing guidance and protection, Hesher convinces T.J. to fall in love with a 20-something girl and get in trouble with the law.

I could have used some of the guidance and protection that Hesher didn’t provide and which all of the characters needed but didn’t get. Although the film crossed boundaries of originality, there was no guiding light, no defining story. There was nothing but ingenuity and clever lines pushing us to the finish line. And brilliant performances, of course.

It almost goes without saying that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most resplendent actors of his generation. If it wasn’t for the fact that there are other big name actors in it, I would have assumed that “Hesher” was made for the sole purpose of showing off his talent. Hesher wasn’t made for the story, and I even doubt that it was made for the voice of the characters, but there is something in it despite the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll attitude that engages you.