‘Sometimes life gives you the finger and sometimes it gives you… Hesher.’ This sums up the movie Hesher pretty well for a movie tag line, and it’s the tag line on the poster. Hesher follows the story of a kid, T.J, who has just lost his mum in a car crash. His dad is depressed and on medication, and his elderly grandmother is not as together as she might once have been. T. J is obsessed with getting his mum’s car back to no avail which causes him problems with the car dealers son and fellow student at his school Dustin. He also meets Hesher, after an argument T.J is riding his bike through a housing project that isn’t completed and after coming off his bike throws something through a window, which is currently where Hesher is living, we get to see the violent bullish side of Hesher who from this point on becomes somewhat of a stalker of T.J.
Its not long before Hesher has turned up at T.J’s house and is sitting in his living room, watching whatever he wants on TV. Hesher doesn’t follow any conventional rules and this is what the movie is essentially about, in an unorthodox way Hesher imposes himself on this family, in a way which makes you question the character, his motives and where the story will ultimately go.
Joseph Gordon Levitt stars as Hesher and while he doesn’t nail it all the time, he does a pretty good job, some of the scenes with Hesher and T.J’s grandmother are very witty. The young kid playing T.J, Devin Bronchu does exactly what’s needed and his dad played by Rainn Wilson is suitably sedated. Piper Laurie plays the forgetful grandmother role and Natalie Portman also has a sizeable role in the movie playing the kind but unsuccessful store clerk that helps out T.J.
Hesher is a strange movie and I still don’t know whether I actually like it, the apathy and inability of any of the adult characters to do anything about Hesher is bizarre, yet later we get to see that Hesher has his own motives and intentions. The ending sums up the movie, and when I think back, Hesher is a memorable movie, and if you want to watch something that talks about human spirit in its many forms then Hesher certainly has it. Bizarre, original and very hard to decide whether you like it or not, regardless its one of the more memorable movies I’ve seen this year.
Posted on - August 21st, 2011