Saturday, June 06, 2009

"The Hangover" (2009) - Movie Review

Sure the nights go fast and funny when the blood stream floats among the crazy violent alcohols but the next morning is an ordeal. But the things which made perfect sense few hours before looks diabolical and deadly. Yet the brain cells take some rest and the last known thing is the bed hitting soft while the head hitting hard when getting up. That is a hangover which generally has some memory. For friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), they have no memory whatsoever of the previous night in Vegas celebrating their friend Doug’s (Justin Bartha) bachelor party. Oh, they lost him too and now hours away from the wedding, they begin to come across the crazy trip for a film like this.

“The Hangover” is that goofy adventure film where friends tag along through the roller coaster ride. We personally would not like to be in their shoes at that moment but wonder what the heck happened to these people to fall in such situations one by one. The cool thing about this film though is that these out of the ordinary events are very much possible. Because they got drugged unknowingly and went berserk not remembering a single thing. They have a torn down villa in the Caesar’s palace hotel, a baby crying in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. This device works and as the friends we are hit by surprises and the curiosity to unraveling the puzzle of finding their friend becomes the adventure we expect out of “The Hangover”.

There is a surprise around the corner whenever they go hunting from the clues they could gather. When they expect a Mercedes they came in, they get a police car, when they come back to hotel to find Doug after a rough adventure they see Mike Tyson and when they get their Mercedes back they get a naked Asian (Ken Jeong) in the trunk. There are people whom they have no idea talking so friendly making them even more worried of the worst things they have done. Of course Stu is missing a tooth and while he is scarred to the deaths how he is going to explain that to his 3 year controlling and cheating girl friend (Rachael Harris), he finds he married an escort (Heather Graham). “The Hangover” though is not about unexpected moments but the memorabilia it produces for each of this mishaps.

Phil tries hard to hold the focus together in finding Doug while Stu is freaking out as he has been the suburbia boy and is aiming to attain the status of permanent adulthood through the proposal he had for Melissa. Alan is the odd mix in this. Asking the silliest questions in the most serious manner possible, he is not unstable but unpredictable on the words he is going to utter than do something.

The premise is the winning outline for this film. If we were accompanied for their drug ride the night, I believe that would make a separate film but that will be formula film in a formula set up. It is quite astonishing that the subject of the next hangover went unnoticed for such a long time. Mainly the plausibility of pulling them through while dealing with their greatest headaches ever would not be an intriguing story line. But within moments we are in for the deal of their man hunt.

While “The Hangover” has the prominent material for the formula film and has those in characters, it succeeds in bringing the eccentricity to an oddly believable realism. Personally I have been through those days where I wondered why did I do that night. Why did I drink so much and why it was so funny to run my bike into a ditch while my friend yelling behind my back cheering this disaster? And why the heck did my five minute sleep disturbed by my friends annoyed the hell out of me only to realize next morning to understand I was asleep for hours in the executive chair. Alcohol does things and brings the craziness buried inside. As long as we come out ok, it is all fun but the tipsy edge is out there threatening to make it a bad one. “The Hangover” is those but it has the advantage of us seeing comfortably and of course every one coming through good in the end.

(Do sit for the end credits to see the drug ride montage of these four people the night they do not remember)

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