After seeing John Krasinski‘s director debut of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, I walked out of the theater feeling intrigued, curious and a bit confused. Later I met with others who had seen the film and realized that people had two polarizing responses to the film: they either loved it or hated it. There is no doubt that this is not your typical, easy to swallow film. It’s unique style, awareness of the camera, odd humor, long monologues, off-putting views towards rape and dark edges are not for everyone… that being said the film left me with a number of interesting thoughts about it, showing that it was in fact (in my opinion) a good film.
Before I talk more about the film, watch the trailer to get a brief ideas of what we’re dealing with…
The trailer does not quite do the film justice, although it gives you a very PG feel of what you’ll be seeing.
Here is what I thought about the film…
Krasinki could have easily made his directorial debut with some middle of the road rom-com with him being cute and lovable and it probably would have been easy to market, people would have gone and laughed a bit, and eventually it would have slipped away into the romantic comedy abyss and rightfully so.
Whether or not you like this film, it’s hard not to see that right out of the gate he opens some interesting doors to topics that many people are not brave enough to handle and dares to be hated and possibly unloved for doing so. His character is unattractive for a number of reasons and his monologue at the end is not easy to swallow or sit through.
Some people may see the camera work as jolting, but it was relevant to the story being told, which is of a girl sitting and splicing together many different stories to make one solid piece of work. To add to that, it reminds us that we are watching a film. This is not a docu-drama, it’s meant to be watched. The cuts and edits added to the fact you are in fact in a theater, in the dark, being shown a visual interpretation different peoples stories. And that’s fine! In fact that’s more than fine, it’s intelligent, thought-provoking and plays into the lead characters ultimate discovery.
Overall, the film felt more like a play, or possibly even a book than a film. Our main character is often sitting and watching, much like we the audience. With long monologues, twisted stories, and the directing, all signs point towards a new an inventive way of portraying a story mixed with some good old fashioned theater.
All I can say to you haters is that you may not like the film, but it deals with an interesting subject matter and in a thoughtful and intelligent way – isn’t that what every filmmaker is trying to do to some extent? And if that is the goal, than Krasinki succeeded better then many veteran directors.