Dolph Springer wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, his dog, Paul. During his quest to get Paul (and his life) back, Dolph radically changes the lives of others -- risking his sanity all the while.
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Dolph Springer wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, his dog, Paul. During his quest to get Paul (and his life) back, Dolph radically changes the lives of others: a pizza-delivering nymphomaniac, a jogging-addict neighbor in search of completeness, an opportunistic French-Mexican gardener, and an off-kilter pet detective. In his journey to find Paul, Dolph may lose something even more vital: his mind. Written by
In the dog's bed, a Flat Eric puppet is visible. Flat Eric is a character by Quentin Dupieux used in Levi's commercials and several shorts. See more »
...I only realized I loved my face after it have been burned with acid. But it was too late. Before it was just my face! I didn't know I loved it! I only started loving it again when it have partially disappeared. Do you follow?
Man gets accustomed in all to things rapidly. He gets used to everything. When you get a new jacket you are happy to wear it but that weal wears off. You get accustomed and after a few days, that jacket doesn't bring you any joy at all. On the other hand... ...
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Dolph Springer (Jack Plotnick) lives in suburban L.A., waking up at 7:60am everyday, returning to his former place of employment where indoor rainfall occurs and he pretends to do work even after he was fired three months ago. He wakes up one morning to find his dog, Paul, is missing. After talking to his neighbor, who then departs to places unknown, Dolph dials a pizzeria's phone number to ask them details about their delivery service and why their logo features a rabbit on a motorcycle, when rabbits can run fast enough without the motorcycle. On the phone is a young woman named Emma (Alexis Dziena), who turns out to be quite the nymphomaniac, proposing sex to Dolph in a note secured in a free pizza, which is intercepted by Dolph's yardworker Victor (Éric Judor), who pretends to be Dolph when he finally meets Emma to get free sex. As Dolph aimlessly wanders the streets of L.A., he runs into Master Chang ("that-guy" actor William Fichtner), an author of several books about humans using telekinesis or some cockamamie process to communicate with the dogs he has kidnapped in order for their owners to show true appreciation for the beasts they take for granted.
All these characters will continuously pop up, with little rhyme or reason in Quentin Dupieux's Wrong, some of them even coming back to life, showing blatant disregard for inconsistencies and misconceptions, and deadpan so well (or so... deadly) that you may zone out for a few minutes and awake with a startle. If 2013 is not starting off as the damnedest year for films, then I do not know what to call it. I have yet to give a film released this year a positive rating, and the films I have been subjected to are either pitifully awful or beyond any reasonable comprehension. I felt the same way watching Roman Coppola's A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, where I was desperately robbed of any connection or coherency with every situation and character. When I watch films I don't like to feel manipulated, excluded, or completely lost and both these films violated me in those three ways.
You may remember my bizarre fascination with Dupieux's last work, Rubber, a film concocted entirely off the premise of a tire, rolling (I suppose) through the desert, using its telekinetic powers to destroy bottles, crows, police officers, or anything else that stood in its way. It was a unique little film, quirky, pleasantly offbeat, albeit self-righteous and dry at times. Wrong is a film in the same category, but so tedious, unmoving, dry, deserting, and frankly, careless about its lead that it makes it a huge challenge to side with anyone or even sit with them through eighty-nine minutes of repetition.
In several ways, this feels like a screen writing exercise. Dupieux's lax approach must not have been too stressful and backbreaking to formulate from the ground up. It would appear he sat down one afternoon, took a few characters, made them all connect through interchangeable setups, not truly forming a relationship with them at all, and just threw situation after situation at them hoping someone will get meaning out of it. If I do not get or understand a film, I will be the first one to admit it, rather than throw some contrived meaning out there about the "satire" or the "social commentary" of it all. What Dupieux is essentially saying is... and that's where I become confused.
Perhaps this is a social critique or a satire on, I don't know, life itself. In an interview, Dupieux described the film almost as if it was a rebellion on convention, where nobody is telling you, "you're wrong for doing this" or "this isn't correct." If his goal was to show a film can be concocted off of simply anything and everything, then he succeeds at that. There isn't much else here.
Wrong is photographed crisply, edited efficiently, and its washed-out cinematography showcasing frequently vapid scenery beautifully and with a heavy touch of artistry, clearly shows that it's a competently made picture, aesthetically. Yet watching it is when the problems ensue. The characters are universally vacant, their motivations are unclear, the meaning or the reason we're supposed to stick around is nonexistent, and the result is tiring and frustrating. When the most challenging part of a film is to watch it, you should automatically know something ain't right.
Starring: Jack Plotnick, Éric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Steve Little, and William Fichtner. Directed by: Quentin Dupieux.
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