As far as brilliant ideas go, Sell Out! deserves a special mention for how it manages to be very funny and very touching at the same time. It denounces the "evils" of capitalism in the most original way - through musical numbers and pitch-black humor - and that's why it's hard, nah, impossible to resist its quirky charm.
The "evils" the film sets out to lampoon are incarnated by a powerful corporation which is responsible, among other things, for entertainment in Malaysia. One of the people working there is a female journalist who interviews weird celebrities, but since her viewing figures are low, the two bosses are thinking about firing her. The solution to her problem is provocative to say the least: she comes up with a new show, a reality program which will capture the last moments of dying people on film. It all gets complicated, however, when an ex-colleague (he got fired for producing a machine that wouldn't have to be replaced immediately, thus reducing the company's profits), who has a crush on her, volunteers to be on the program. The complication derives from the fact that he qualifies as an extreme case of "split personality" (see it to believe it).
Some might feel like dismissing the story as nonsense, but that doesn't really detract from the film's power: after all, how many things make sense when big corporations are involved? Besides, the film is ostensibly a musical, and therefore logic is, by definition, banned as a concept. And it all works for the better: the film's freewheeling madness, expressed via absurd death scenes and outlandish singing and dancing (the "sucking up" routine being the best), perfectly reflects the overall insanity of a postmodern world in which everything is relative, even opinions. Proof of that comes in the hilarious opening scene, where the female lead interviews a filmmaker who says he will never do a musical because he hates the genre. What's so brilliant about that? Well, the director happens to be named after the real writer/director of Sell Out!, so that scene is actually a reversed artistic statement: he says what he's going to do by denying it. That's real creativity.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this