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- Published on Amazon.com
Absurdist agendas are designed to be met with confusion; It is the most basic aspect of their design and orientation towards an imagined audience, and Quintin Dupieux (AKA the equally absurd recording artist and remixer, "Mr OIzo") is a master of the form, not the exception. Absurdity, however, is not limited to eliciting confusion, obviously, because some people are uncomfortable with the feeling, some are stimulated by the open-ended food-for-thought possibilities of meaning and the constant unexpected nature of this form, while others find a lot of humor in the absurd. Obviously we know which of these reactions is paramount for Dupieux, and that is humor. But, if we switch to a more terrifying absurdist, like David Lynch, humor is still in the mix, but it's more of a coping mechanism for the viewer to have an awkward laugh between tense music-driven scenes, because Lynch's work focuses on suspense first.
The film Wrong is not about randomness though. In many ways it is a very focused spoof of Lynch, right down to the score. By placing tense strings and forward-moving drum machines in just the right places, Dupieux manages to honor rather than mock Lynch, while at the same time entirely transforming the Lynchian brand of suspense film into the Dupieux brand of comedy.
It helps that the acting and camerawork here are executed with a precise chemistry that is entirely consistent with his prior film "Rubber." Of course Rubber also fits into the category of b-movie horror, because, well, you can't make a movie about a deadly tire and it only be considered a comedy; people's head's explode too much not to also place it alongside movies like "Sharknado."
However, with Wrong, it is 100% comedy, even more so than it is an indie or art film. It's a comedy along the lines of You, Me, and Everyone We Know, or Junebug, in which the line is blurred between dry comedy, dark comedy, absurdist comedy, and art house comedy. What pries it from the grips of purely another weirdo low budget art film, however, is the sheer volume of respectable actors paired with Oizo's crystal-clear camera selection, lighting, and just the overall extreme hi-fi feeling of quality.
I love absurdism; I love all the confusion, the awkward laughs,and the possibilities of meaning, as well as the opportunity to forgo meaning entirely and take it as surface illogical visual stimulus. However, I would not recommend Rubber to my wife or anyone who avoids stupid movies, and I already recommended this to my wife and brother. The only thing wrong with this movie is that it could be considered a tad short if your expecting anything like a big feature film. It's more like Pootie Tang, which is to say a condensed comedic style experiment, though far more classy and artistic overall than Pootie Tang, just not quite as "real" as the other comedies I mentioned because it's not as dark.