April 14, 2009

Why Observe and Report is My Favorite Movie of 2009 (So Far)

1. Poorly marketed as a comedy, "Observe and Report" starring Seth Rogen is a spot on dark portrayal on mental disability on film. The film's protagonist Ronnie grip on reality loosens as the film progresses, and I found this tragic spiral to be tough to watch, yet almost impossible to turn away from.

2. There are some great performances in this film. Rogen is convincing as someone losing his mind and Michael Pena as Rogen's sidekick is a far cry from "Crash." Much praise has been heaped on Celia Watson's performance as Ronnie's alcoholic mother, and I have to agree.

3. The film's director Jody Hill has a knack for picking songs that match scenes correctly. The opening song that introduces us to the mall is "When I Paint My Masterpiece" by The Band via Bob Dylan. The song about "life in the land of Coca-Cola" and references to the "long hard climb" and girls promising to wait for our protagonist works well with the story and the themes of commericialism, love, and despair that at work in the film.

4. Between this film, "Eastbound & Down" and "The Foot Fist Way," it's clear that director Jody Hill has his thumb to the pulse of the hidden culture of the United States. Behind Obama's dog and Lindsey Lohan's dating habits, lies the America rarely seen on the television. It's the land of strip malls, the land of endless car dealerships, and a land of Ronnies, people who's dreams are constantly being deffered. Jody Hill knows this America and captures it on film.

5. This is a film that is not afraid to bust open genre conventions. Part of the reason people aren't responding to it is that the movie does not follow the general structure of a movie. Ronnie's life get's worse, and worse, and worse. It's kind of like "The Wrestler" except there's no Bruce Springsteen song at the end. The ending is as much disturbing as it is happy.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, I think that Jody Hill is paving a new way of film. But you don't get what you paid for when you see this film. In a hard economy and with movie tickets at $12 a pop, I'm not sure it was worth it.