After a tragic car accident that killed his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people but when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.
Michael J. Fox,
Disgusted with human evolution and a society driven by instant gratification and voyeuristic sensationalism, a foul-mouthed Monster kills anyone who crosses his path. When a news crew sent to investigate the Monster disappears, their ratings-obsessed boss sends a guileless young woman to follow up on the story. This young journalist forges an unlikely friendship with the Monster. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Imagine that the original "Outer Limits" folks remade "King Kong" in their standard monster style and you have a good idea of "No Such Thing's" look and feel. Then throw in a little "Mighty Joe Young" banter, "Beauty and the Beast fashions", and "The Song of Bernadette" for good measure.
The film is a stylistic masterpiece and the banter between the beast and Beatrice (Sarah Polley) is surreal comedy at its best. If you enjoy quirky and subtly off-kilter films then the superficial story of "No Such Thing" will be a real pleasure in itself. Don't let frustration over the underlying meaning ruin the fun during the first viewing-just go with it.
The DVD does not contain a director's commentary so the viewer is left to speculate on just what this thing is really about; what themes Hartley is serious about and to what degree the obvious themes are just there for parody and laughs.
My retrospective take is that it is about the interplay of evolution and intelligent design, with the monster an artifact left over from creation. God created the monster, knowing that humankind needs fear for motivation. He expected us to have evolved beyond fear and hate of each other long before now, creating a need for the monster. But this did not happen, making the monster irrelevant and God disillusioned with humankind. Both he and the monster are bored with the stupidity they see.
God decides to intervene so the monster can go away and be put out of it's misery. He chooses Beatrice for this mission and she goes through a miracle survival experience to heighten her appreciation for life and to give her a distanced perspective free of fear and hate (the plane was going to crash with no survivors). Sarah Polley is perfectly cast as Beatrice; her Beatrice is somehow both detached and expressive. If you enjoy Polley you will love this character.
Virginia Woolf: Someone has to die Leonard, in order that the rest of us should value life more.
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