Wrong (2012)

Wrong (2012)

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His offer to the Gods was not accepted. In fact it was frowned upon.
His offer to the Gods was not accepted. In fact it was frowned upon.

Twitter Plot Summary: When Dolph’s dog goes missing, he goes looking for him, whilst all manner of weird stuff takes place.

Five Point Summary:

1. A long conversation with a pizza girl.
2. An office where it rains inside.
3. William Fichtner: mystic dog friend.
4. She’s very annoying.
5. The car keeps on a-driving.

Quentin Dupieux is clearly a fan of non-standard storytelling, of collecting a random selection of images and motifs and throwing them together to form a vague yet incredibly twisted narrative. After just two feature length films, it’s clear that Dupieux will never garner mainstream success if he continues along this path, his stories are far too weird for anyone but those with the most twisted of minds – or those with an interest in analysing movie subtext – to appreciate. Despite potential thoughts to the contrary, this is certainly no bad thing as it acts as a much needed counterbalance to both the mainstream Hollywood productions and the indie movie scene, both of which follow the same structure no matter the budgetary differences between them.

The core plot of Wrong features a man called Dolph who wakes up one morning to find his dog Paul has gone missing and he sets out to find him, encountering a variety of oddball neighbours and local residents along the way. It’s clear that the kidnapped dog is a plot device so as to demonstrate Dolph’s loss of focus in his life, and perhaps the surreal element of his surroundings is representative of this. Or possibly not, it can be hard to tell.

His attempt at gaining additional sales for his book were not appreciated.
His attempt at gaining additional sales for his book were not appreciated.

On his quest to recover his dog Dolph encounters his French gardener who looks a potential candidate to become a member of the Village People and/or The Vengaboys; there’s Emma, a woman who works with a pizza delivery company who latches onto Dolph after they exchange a phone call; Dolph’s neighbour Mike who jumps in his yellow car and just keeps driving, and William Fichtner who shows up as Master Chang, a mystic man who has two volumes of books about man, dog and latent telepathy. He is slightly hidden behind some melted face makeup and sports an accent that mixes Sigmund Freud with a potentially racist interpretation of how a Chinese mystic may speak, just to add an extra level of weird. Let’s not even get started on his ponytail.

It’s another thoroughly weird yet oddly enjoyable story that revels in being as weird as possible. Clocks tick from 7.59 to 7.60 and office workers sit at their desks being drenched by the fire sprinklers without batting an eyelid, for example. To many viewers Wrong will be a film that they switch off after 15 minutes, likely baffled by the nonsensical narrative and excessive amount of surreal imagery. Much like his previous film Rubber, Dupieux is probably making a point about the Hollywood system and/or following the established movie pattern. It’s a little less on the nose about it than Rubber was, but the signs are there. Or it could just be that he enjoys symbolism and there actually isn’t a point to any of this, it’s just a loose collection of scenes and thematic points and you’re left to make your own mind up about it. Either way, you’ll need to made of stern stuff to make it through to the end – if you’re strangeness radar isn’t tuned in to appreciate oddness then Wrong is not the film for you. Try something with Colin Firth instead.

Score: 3/5

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