IF YOU WANT your dreams to be weird for the rest of your life, see Swiss Army Man, directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. Radcliffe, working hard to quash your beloved associations of Harry Potter, portrays a farting corpse—a farting corpse that serves as a companion, prop, and man Friday to Dano's very sad young bearded man, Hank. Hank is just like most sad young bearded men, except he's also a castaway on an island, where his creepy new pal washes ashore.
The desert island is the least bizarre part of Swiss Army Man, and the exploits that follow are distasteful enough that I fully anticipate theater walkouts. This movie is unrelentingly gross, there's a mildly creepy stalking episode, and the whole thing combines an undercurrent of existential anxiety that only an adult can relate to with a sense of humor that only a six-year-old could love. (The case could be made that this is less a movie than an extended poop joke.)
Still, I'm glad I was trapped by professional obligation—because if I'd walked out, I would have missed one of the most touching love stories I've seen onscreen in recent memory. I wish I could explain this—how a movie that is in many ways unwatchable becomes so ineffably heartwarming—but I can't. And though it's tempting to look for points of reference, that's impossible too: Michel Gondry is too whimsical, Charlie Kaufman too cerebral, George Romero too scary.
Besides, Swiss Army Man isn't some low-rent version of anything you've seen before. It's all too fucking strange for that—a lonely little bizarro dream full of longing and dirty fingernails and piles of trash and very blue ocean waves. The last scene is a bubbly, darkly disorienting work of art that left me laughing for reasons I still can't explain.