Pin It
Favorite

Loss and Lechery 

Don't expect to hear much Metallica or see any sweet mullets in Hesher.

click to enlarge A villain or a hero? It's hard to tell.
  • A villain or a hero? It's hard to tell.

You will walk into the movie theater thinking you know exactly what Hesher is about: a rocker burnout misanthrope who lives in a van, does what he pleases and whose sole function

on the Earth is to just rock the f--- out as often and as hard as his body will allow. On movie posters, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has stringy hair, jailhouse tattoos of stick figures blowing their brains out, a cigarette attached to his lip. You’re thinking Metallica, AC/DC, Judas Priest — Slayer, hopefully — will punctuate the high points of the film. It will be glorious.

And yes, some of that stuff is a part of Hesher. But that lone-rocker attitude — and the actual Hesher character — is one of the most periphery aspects of the film. You realize quickly that the ads promoting this film are to get your ass in the seat. This film is, in fact, an incredibly sad story of loss, rebellion, grief and coping … with very little Metallica on the soundtrack, after all.

Hesher is the story of T.J. Forney (Devin Brochu), a boy — maybe 10, but definitely no older than 12 — who has lost his mother in a car accident. And we watch, from the first scene, as T.J. struggles through his grief and confusion by himself. His father (Rainn Wilson) is no help — he can’t get off the couch. He can’t even talk about his wife’s death without swallowing a handful of pills. And because T.J. is at that awkward age between childhood and adolescence, we watch as he tries to figure out how to cope. Tired lines on his young face show his inner confusion, frustration and pain. And on top of everything, T.J. — who is small for whatever grade he is in — is getting put through hell at school by one particularly nasty bully.

And then he meets Hesher (Gordon-Levitt) — that misanthrope you thought this entire movie would be about. Hesher is both the villain and the hero in T.J.’s life, preying not just on the young boy, but his family, too. He eats their food, watches their television and gets their sweet, caring grandmother (Piper Laurie) to take bong hits. In their collective catatonic state, the family watches Hesher with fascination and wonder. Because Hesher is brimming with life — angry, anarchistic, self-serving, macho. His life is what he makes of it.

And for the first time, you realize, you’re admiring a total trashbag — realizing that maybe you too have something to learn from this movie.

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Winning Reboot
  • Winning Reboot

    Somehow, Arnold's return to the Terminator franchise makes for solid sci-fi
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • <b>Stripped Down</b>
  • Stripped Down

    Magic Mike XXL can't recapture the substance that made the original more than hunky shirtless guys
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Dog of a Story
  • Dog of a Story

    Max wastes a promising idea on forgettable characters
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Indigenous

Indigenous @ Two Rivers Casino and Resort

Sat., July 4, 7-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft
  • Gone Solo, Not Soft

    After three decades of Melvins records, Buzz Osborne makes an awesome album by himself
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • All Man

    Gregg Allman has experienced much turmoil, but he perseveres with his mix of blues, rock and country
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Lightening the Mood

    Local metal quartet Mercy Brown garners fans around the globe thanks to a viral video
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Music


Review


Hip-hop


Indie Rock


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation