Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pose Reviews a Movie. #21: The Bothersome Man (2006)

This hidden gem from the Norway section is one of my greatest finds in all my years of renting from GenX.

I definitely recommend The Bothersome Man, but only to a particular type of person. Are you likely to like, or be bothered by The Bothersome Man? Let's find out.

First, you need to be comfortable with movies that leave you confused. It also helps to be comfortable with movies that start you off confused. If you're the kind of person who enjoys movies that have secrets, I can tell already that you're up for it.

(Or, to put it more simply, if you like watching Lost, you can definitely count yourself in for The Bothersome Man.)

If you're still not sure about your confusion tolerance, try gaging your reaction to the film's premise.

A man, bearded and noticeably disheveled, finds himself the sole occupant of a coach bus.

He is dropped off in the middle of the desert, and promptly picked up by a man who informs him that he has been expecting him.

The two then proceed to travel by car to a nameless city where he inexplicably finds himself with an apartment, a job, and a closet full of clothes. So he shaves, goes to sleep, wakes up and goes to work.

And that's it. That's the first two minutes.

Who is this man? Where is this man? And why is he just as confused as his audience? Maybe you'll have to watch to find out.


If this premise intrigues you, then it's safe to say you should bother with The Bothersome Man.

But if not, don't count yourself out yet--this film also suits lovers of dystopian fiction.

Without going too far into the specific details of the movie, the society presented in The Bothersome Man is one of the most creepily vivid and mysteriously beautiful visions of dystopia that I've ever seen.

If you liked either:

i) Yevgeny Zamyatin's We
ii) Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
iii) George Orwell's 1984,

then I definitely suggest you check out this film.

Frankly, it's hard to do something new with a dystopian setting, since it's been dealt with in literature and film for decades. But I really admire the way The Bothersome Man constructs and handles its dystopia.

The film drops hints about the peculiarities of its setting, but try as you might, it's hard to be certain that you know what's going on.

The element of surprise is always present in The Bothersome Man, and that's easily its most charismatic quality.

So there you have it. If you're someone who embraces confusion, open-endedness and the invitation to draw your own conclusions from a film, I can suggest nothing better than The Bothersome Man.

And if you can think of nothing worse? Well, we've got about 14,000 other films to choose from.

You can find this one in the Norway section, or on my Staff Picks shelf.

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