The Chumscrubber starts out with Troy, a normal teenager who supplies "feel good" pills to everyone in his high school (this way he spreads happiness all around). But when his friend Dean pays him a visit, Dean discovers Troy has hanged himself in his bedroom during one of his mother's pool parties. After the death, three local teens: Billy, Lee, and Crystal, want what's left of Troy's stash of pills and they know that Dean is the only one who knows where they are. But when Dean refuses to get the pills, the three teens kidnap Dean's little brother, until they realize they've kidnapped the wrong kid. Written by
A fresh, fun, and moving examination of crazy people (us) in suburbia.
I was able to see a screening of this film at Sundance tonight (1/26/05) and I just wanted to let anyone who was curious about this movie that it is definitely worth seeing. Some lucky distributor is going to make bank off of this great film by a skilled director and soulful screenwriter.
Although I was pleasantly surprised as famous face after famous face came on the screen, Jamie Bell (main character Dean) is without equal. In the Q&A session after the screening, the Director talked a little about wanting to make a movie that examined the hypocrisy and muted subjects of our culture. I think he hit the nail right on the head. He also talked about how they removed all pop culture references in the movie so that they could create their own archetype of pop culture-- the Chumscrubber. The characteristics of this comic book/video game hero are an allegory that can help you decode the messages of the movie. (On a comic note, he also said that once you see this movie you will see dolphins EVERYWHERE. When you see it, you'll know what I mean.) Screenwriter Zak Stanford said that a Chubscrubber is the worst job in the fishing village he grew up in. It's the person that has to mop the floor clean after everyone else has gutted and processed the fish. This movie, in part, discussed "what it would be like to have someone do that for you."
There are parts of this movie that are definitely funny. However, I didn't find myself laughing at all them because I couldn't shake the feeling that I would have been laughing at myself. I guess I'm saying that for those of us who find themselves seeking escape in a world that finds us trivial, there is a lot of truth in this movie. But don't worry... it also shows us the power a single human connection can have.
SEE/BUY/DISCUSS/ANTICIPATE/DEVOUR THIS MOVIE!!
P.S.- Don't be put off by trite descriptions of this film as a "tale of a young boy fending off the evils of suburbia." It really doesn't do it justice. It's fresh, fun, and moving.
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