I Heart Huckabees Movie Review
I am the kind of guy who is obsessed with movies where words like universe, time, reality come in picture. So after reading about the plot of it being an "existential comedy about the universe and time", I immediately decided to watch it. For good or bad, I missed out the word "COMEDY" that was spelled out loudly and wasted a bit of time trying to "figure out" the movie. The funny part is, this film is a satire in a way to ridicule guys like us who try to "figure out" everything. So lesson which I learnt, well... "figured out" is: Sit back and enjoy the movie. It is a smart comedy for people who have a capacity to tolerate nonsense.
This movie is loaded with big A-listers from Hollywood and almost all of them make their presence well justified. Bernard and Vivian(Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) are existential detectives who are there to make you realize your purpose of existence and to answer questions in your life like what it all means. They connect the dots as to what coincidences mean and how unseemly related things are connected to each other. Albert(Jason Schwartzman) and Tommy(Mark Wahlberg) are two of their clients with no common background who bond overtime only to realize they both are somewhere searching the same truth. It all starts for Albert with these two ingenious people when he tries to figure out how he met a particular African guy three times coincidentally in a very short patch of time.
Albert is the head of the local chapter of Open Spaces Coalition who promote the importance of free space in our surroundings. Tommy on the other hand is a firefighter who is convinced that petrol should not be used as it causes all the problems in the world. Only that I am putting this way too subtly. Brad Stand(Jude Law) is some minor at Huckabees corporation, a mall chain who has a way with his stories and who wants to make big bucks. Dawn(Naomi Watts) is Brad's girlfriend who is also the voice and face of Huckabees. Albert after meeting Brad over a meeting is overtime upset with Brad for the fact that he is slowly winning everyone's heart and selling the land of his clients to Huckabees with the help of their association to Open Spaces.
Now the lives of these ordinary men obsessed with money and other nuances is stirred when this investigating couple penetrate Albert's work environment and slowly engulf Brad and Dawn in their ideology of finding their existential problems. To add to the drama, their arch-nemesis, Caterine Vauban(Isabelle Huppert) enters the chain who was once their student and later gone against them and built her ideology that existence is cruel and destructive in its nature. Unsatisfied with one ideology, Albert and Tommy run to Vauban to find solution to their dubious problems. What proceeds is more hilarity and absurdness.
The Figuring Out Part
When they make a movie like this, it has to walk on the rope between making it artistic and commercializing it. The trick they used was comedy, but it maybe is not sufficient unless you have good dialogues which is what makes this movie a wobbly comic movie. We are not able to stay connected to it because of the constant change of existential conversation in a language we find hard to understand.How I wonder a good movie could have been made out of a theme so good with good script.
Jon Brion has added some good soundtrack that supports the comic timing well. The other aspects of storytelling are not highlighted that well and don't stand out in any special way. Maybe they are not meant to in a comedy.
For most of the part, undoubtedly everyone has played their role well, but Mark Wahlberg leads the queue. He plays a wacked-up role real neat and we are constantly amazed at his absurdness. Jude Law, the good actor that he is draws well from his character too and plays the nice mean guy in for money. Well speaking on prejudiced terms, I did not like Jason Schwartzman. But then again I never like him.
The movie has its peaks and valleys and is not an outright hilarious movie or anything close to that. It is a satirical work of art in a way for people who try to understand everything. There is even an irony to it because even till the end it maintains its stance on existential problems without once ridiculing about them. It is an OK movie with some smart and some weird stuff thrown in. If you have seen some serious weird movies, you can handle this well. Watch it, its not that bad, but don't make others watch it, they might hate you then.