Sunday, August 07, 2011

"Rubber" (2011) - Movie Review

Calling “Rubber” bizarre, weird or absurd might be putting it mildly. Quentin Dupieux’s film is the most ridiculous, experimental and unexplainably engaging film I have seen in a very long time. Told with an unforgiving nature of experimentation, this is a film which might even question and test the nerves of a very serious movie goer. Yet it has an odd element attached to it that keeps it funny for most part and evokes an underlying statement from the observer than the presenter.

It has a killer opening. A man in a remote open land stands holding a bunch of binoculars. A cop car comes and makes it a point to hit each and every chair which has no place of being there. A man in uniform, comes out of a trunk, knocks the driver door, gets a glass of water and gives out the ridiculousness of cinema and its absence of reason to its property and presentation to us the audience. He then dumps the glass of water stating the obvious that we will be witnessing one such. While we are thinking he has been addressing to us, he actually has been addressing to a group of people to whom the ridiculous man provides the binocular as they try to see the live film in front of them happening at a distance though not so far away from them. This is “Rubber”.

Amongst the rusty hot sands lays a sturdy tire. Dead, unmoving as any rubber tire would be, it suddenly begins to move. It gets itself up and begins wobbling around falling, picking itself up and moving on with no purpose. It encounters inanimate objects and shatters them with its power of vibration or the spectators name it as psychokinetic powers. What it goes with its journey and the people it meets and explode are irrelevant then why bother watching this film? Well, you have a very solid question out there but the madness to this method is inviting. Dupieux has both a point to make and to lash it out into threads of thin air. When you expect that the spectators of this freak show are going to draw some sense, he stuns you by making them behave in the nature of the film’s chaos.

“Rubber” has one concrete thing going on which is the cinematography and Quentin Dupieux takes that job along with editing. It angles through the tire’s perspective which spoofs crazy psycho thrillers and low budget horror films. The strangeness in “Rubber” soon throws you off even with the complete awareness of the conscious frenzy Quentin puts through. Soon enough you are both drawn away and towards it simultaneously.

The idea of having no point to the presentation might annoy or might even offend certain moviegoers as there are effective ways to do that in a much more entertaining and meaningful fashion. Instead Quentin goes for the extreme and he is right about it. Any other manner in which he would have made it the way audience would have wished might make it another flick that pokes fun of this genre. He wants to stand alone from the crowd and if it means to be standing alone literally shunning his viewers, then so be it.

The actors in this film vary from very good acting to terrible performances. Stephen Spinella does a stellar job of believing in this narrator, presenter and participator while Daniel Quinn steals the worst performance as the motel owner. Even in that I am not sure whether Quinn’s performance is intentional or not. Nothing can be concrete about a film like this.

There is no way I would be able to watch “Rubber” again but I might definitely recommend it to any one. They might hate me or adore me or plain and simple stamp me as a crazy goose with further odd movie taste. Regardless they would have gone through an experiment that can only called an odd journey of a presentation of nonsense, comedy, non-existing statements, existing agendas and simple madness with crystal clear imagery.

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