Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1PanelReview Wrecked

Time for a dose of everyone's favorite Pianist!

What it is: Wrecked 

Which is: A thriller/survival film
Directed by: Michael Greenspan 
Year: 2011

Wrecked is a 2011 Canadian thriller film directed by Michael Greenspan, starring Adrien Brody. It's the story of a man who wakes up in a car crashed in the middle of a forest... (side commentary, I truly hate the awful English title used on the French release which both spoils that side plot and makes us think that is the main preoccupation of the plot, while the perfectly simple "Wrecked" was much better suited/fitting and effective for the theme of this film)

What's Good about it: This is what I like to call a "survival movie". Movies that are generally pretty intense thematically rather than heavy in dialogues. With a very limited cast and setting (usually one guy stuck in one place the entire film). It all comes down to man being striped from technology, vs. raw nature. See Tom Hanks' Cast Away, the best example that comes to mind.
This is as far as possible from all these big Hollywood disaster films (aka "disaster porn"), which despite actually touching some similar themes, always go way overboard, all over the place, lots of action sequences, huge ensemble casts, etc. (I'm not saying is better than the other, just saying how different from each other they are).
A survival movie is usually much more grounded and therefore realistic. One single character stripped to its more basic characterization. Trying to simply defy nature and survive nature...

Adrien Brody plays here someone we will only know as a "man".
Our protagonist wakes up in this car... He is trapped... The other passengers are dead... Who is he? He seems to be having some trouble remembering his own identity (which is more of a secondary element, to better put the audience alongside our character).
It's a pretty simple realistic tale, telling the age-old story of (hu)man(s) against the harsh nature... in this case, following a car crash.
The first act is pretty intense and captivating. Adrien Brody really gets to show his range (despite the limited dialogues, consisting mostly of the word "Fuck!"). More human and down to Earth than most of his previous films. Simply a guy waking up in an awful situation and trying to survive the night at first. Then, trying to get out of this car!
Some of these very simple special effects look pretty amazing (because of how simple and realistic they are, such as the damages his face sustained in the car crash).
But the film is also telling a story we don't get to properly see played on the screen. Of the mysterious man he was prior to the crash that ended in this awful situation. That's where the whole amnesia angle comes in to play. How he ended up in this predicament....
I love how intense it gets with the whole mountain lion scenario...

What's Bad about it: The movie love to confuse its audience (even more so on a first/single viewing).
It also gets pretty heavy with the whole hallucinations, which I know some might find really annoying. But it does work and all come into full circle at the end.
It's not a spectacular action piece. Just a simple purely basic thriller set in a forest.

Overall: Wrecked was a pleasant surprise from 2011.

Simple, grounded and captivating. Don't expect one of those countless action pieces Hollywood seems to be trapped in nowadays.

This little Canadian film can be confusing at times. But voluntary so. 

It's the story of a man that was himself wrecked from the grounds up through this situation. If he wanna survive he better learn to care to survive to begin with.

A movie that messes with your head to better put you in the shoes of its protagonist.

In a way, it's kind of the opposite of Cast Away. Which despite a similar concept had this big colorful background and typed characters. The "man" in Wrecked barely has a background and doesn't remember much through most of the film. It's not about simply wanting to get out of this situation, but to first care about getting out of this situation.

All in all, pretty good film. Recommended if you wanna try something different from the norm.

I give it: 2.5 / 3 Quacks!
[How does my Rating System work?]

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