Monday, July 15, 2019

The Beach Bum

By sati (harlequinade) Monday, July 15, 2019 , , , , , ,
There are some actors who suit the part they are playing so well you cannot possibly imagine anyone else doing that. It's the case with Jeff Bridges as the Dude. Samuel. L Jackson as Jules Winnfield. Keanu Reeves as Neo. And now Matthew McConaughey's Moondog.

McConaughey, who had his career comeback a while back, had less luck in the last few years appearing in a bunch of movies that were either unsuccessful, underseen or complete box office and critical flops. Just few months ago we watched him in utterly insane Serenity, but even there you gotta admit while the film was an incomprehensible disaster McConauyghey's entertaining performance still made it a lot of fun to watch.
While The Beach Bum is not gonna bring a lot of money and didn't get good reviews I am happy to report it's one of the most entertaining films of the year and McConaughey's best in at least 5 years. He is one of those actors who have that thing that makes them unique. In his case it's the southern charm, the laid back attitude and a pinch of insanity. There's only one of him and he is always so much fun to watch. All of that made him perfect for this part - of the stoner and poet named Moondog, who embarks on a series of insane adventures while working on his next book.

I was certain that role was actually written with him in mind, but according to imdb's trivia it was offered to Gary Oldman first, who turned it down. That's a very happy occurrence because McConaughey's levity and charm, which Oldman doesn't have, are easily the most entertaining things in this movie. His line delivery and reactions, the swagger and general aura around him fit the character he is playing perfectly. And you sense his good nature and thanks to that and Moondog's completely non-threatening persona the whole movie feels so relaxing. He is the film's heart and brings so much ease. Had they cast Oldmam in the role, the film would lose all of that and turn into a very unpleasant, dull affair.
I don't know much of Harmony Korine's work but I enjoyed his 2013's Spring Breakers. The best part of that movie - Cliff Martinez's dreamy, pulsating score is not present here with John Debney taking over as a composer. But that was a good choice - Spring Breakers had hypnotic and at times mean-spirited quality to it and The Beach Bum is so optimistic and good-natured and Debney's whimsy score goes so well with that.

The film looks a lot like Spring Breakers, thanks to the cinematography being yet again the work of Benoît Debie - neon colors, beautifully staged shots and in general the images that are just filled with heat, sunshine and the smell of the sea. The film transports you into Moondog's world so effortlessly, completed with great production design and outrageous and brilliant costumes.
Korine yet again shows hedonism and debauchery, much like he did in his career before, but this time it's not off putting or even suggesting there's darkness lurking beneath all of that, because everything in this movie is seen through rose tinted glasses. Bad things still happen but that's life - we see Moondog and others just try to use their time in any way they know how to find happiness and love. This film has really surprising amount of heart, optimism and pure joy.

There's plenty of entertaining performances here -  there's Jonah Hill as an uptight agent with very deep Southern accent, there's Snoop Dogg delivering hilarious one liners, Zac Efron as a drug addict in recovery who loves Jesus and Martin Lawrence who gets to be in the film's funniest moment. I don't wanna spoil anything so I'll just say the word - dolphins. You'll know the scene when you see it, trust me.

The Beach Bum is probably way too peculiar for a lot of people but I adored it. It's a funny, sweet and beautifully looking movie and a perfect film to watch this summer.
80/100 (95 min, 2019)
Plot: A rebellious stoner named Moondog lives life by his own rules.
Director: Harmony Korine
Writer: Harmony Korine
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher

8 comments:

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    1. Thank you! I hope you like it, so far pretty much everyone else hated it :P

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  2. this looks like I could like it, really enjoyed the trailer!

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    1. I hope you like it if you watch it! It's such a charming movie

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  3. Huh I have never heard of this at all. I do like McConaughey... I 'll have to grab this and add it to the never ending list.. while I still wait for Midsommor to get here! =/

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  4. Love this review. I'm so happy you liked this movie! You're right, it's just a great summer flick. And I completely agree that, ultimately, this movie is all about heart, optimism and pure joy.

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    1. I think we are the only two people in our blogosphere who loved it 😂

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