Swiss Army Man ★★★½

A powerhouse of untapped imagination, unbridled energy & magical realism, Swiss Army Man is an absolutely bizarre, surreal & batshit crazy comedy that embraces its absurdness with open arms, and is a downright hilarious yet emotionally stirring indie that ultimately packs too many life-affirming elements beneath its fart-laden premise.

Swiss Army Man tells the story of a young man, stranded on a remote island, who's about to kill himself but dismisses the idea when he sees a corpse wash ashore. A wicked friendship develops between the two after he learns that the farting corpse has mysterious powers and relies on it to return back to civilisation while learning to let go of all the things that held him back in the past.

Written & directed by Daniels, namely Daniel Scheinert & Daniel Kwan, in what is their feature film debut, Swiss Army Man is nearly impossible to categorise, given its whacky plot that makes no sense whatsoever, and yet it is relatable on so many occasions over the course of its runtime that it feels much more familiar than it looks. It is a singularly unique concept that the Daniels bring to life with dynamic zest.

While its flatulent humour may alienate the easily offended members in the audience, the patient ones will be rewarded with a much deeper & meaningful lesson lurking behind its outlandish plot. Daniels' direction is thoughtful, their tale is wonderfully layered plus it is well-aware of where it is headed, and the two characters exhibit enough flesh on their arcs to compel the viewers to invest in their journey.

Shot in wilderness for the most part, the images are rich in texture, make heavy use of vivid colour palette, and is further enhanced by bright lighting. Its vibrant camerawork tries to keep up with the film's weird tone, and succeeds for the most part. Its 97 minutes runtime is swiftly paced, and while the score brims with an offbeat quality, it is in tune with how the events transpire and even uplifts a few of its key sequences.

Coming to the performances, Swiss Army Man features only two people on screen for the majority of its runtime and both of them chip in with outstanding inputs in their given roles, not to mention that their chemistry is absolutely spot-on. Paul Dano plays his part with great restraint while Daniel Radcliffe delivers the best performance of his career so far in the role of a farting corpse and his lifeless posture & stone cold expressions are a highlight in itself.

On an overall scale, Swiss Army Man is a roller coaster ride of emotions that's strange, peculiar & unpredictable in all possible manners yet each frame of it exudes so much passion and brims with such heartfelt warmth & radiance that it is hard to stop yourself from being engulfed by its magical tide. An intriguing, rewarding & unforgettable journey that begins & ends with a fart yet may leave its audience with opposite feelings in those particular moments, Swiss Army Man is an odd delight that comes highly recommended.

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