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MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Quentin Depieux’s Wrong couldn’t be more right. Dogs, gurus, palm trees that morph into pine trees, and nightmarish scenes that pose questions of the source life and death are all crocheted into one giant fishing net. The film comes from a director who is a creative kind of guy, and that much is evident in his career of music, absurdist film, and hand made puppet antics. It’s obvious that he is happy to think on a completely different level.
Director of Steak (2007) and indie hit Rubber (2010), Depieux has a lot of material up his sleeve in this chaotic landscape of habit, powerlessness, and strange free floating redemption. Of course things have a very absurd style of logic. Its the same logic that applies to your dreams about loosing all your teeth and trying to bring them to the dentist, only the dentist has been kidnapped by a guru, and you have to appreciate him to get him back. Yeah well, its something like that, and the point is it doesn’t matter if you dreamed that your dog was also a dentist. It still all wouldn’t make sense. Its a dream, and the language of the images communicates to you in ways that leave you feeling mystified and foggy.
After a recent interview (check out the podcast folks) with Depieux I realized that something he said was very valuable in understanding his film, and his work as a filmmaker in general. He mentions the importance of how he is not thinking, and implies that to get his audience to think is maybe the last thing he would want to accomplish. For him, the best place to create from is that place that is just halfway between the waking life and dreamscape. He tries to catch images and ideas when he is half awake, half asleep. You won’t be able to sit down and try to unlock his meaning, just as much as you won’t be able understand the motivations of anyone in this film, at least you won’t be able to with your conscious brain. What you will see is a dazzling display of beautifully framed shots, impossibilities, explanations that leave more questions than they answered, and the fuzzy experience of trying to act as if you are in control, especially when you really aren’t.
I will say up front that a lot of people might enjoy this film, but really not understand why, others may not like it at all for a lack of understandable narrative. Its not that the narrative isn’t there, it just doesn’t look like reality. Much in the way that David Lynch’s films jump the audience from point a to point z, Depieux’s absurdist flow isn’t going to fill in the blanks for you. His constructed reality is surreal, unnerving, and most of all, hilarious. I barely laugh out loud to films which are trying to be funny these days, yet while watching Wrong I can say clearly that not only do I laugh constantly, but I am filled with joy and wonder as I watch. A bit of advice here folks…just let go and enjoy the ride. I’m here to tell you that we don’t always need to know why something is great, and great is precisely what this film is.