When Quentin Dupieux arrived on the scene with his surreal (and VERY weird)”slasher tire” film, RUBBER, it was instantly apparent that this was a filmmaker who had absolutely no intention in making a point A to point B kind of film. It was a breath of fresh air, and his following films, WRONG, WRONG COPS both full explored that marriage of humor, satire and an imagination that feels almost like it was straight from the mind of a child. Continuing that approach once again, in in the most effective way to date, Dupieux’s REALITY (which opened in NY/VOD on May 1st and here in LA on May 15th via IFC Films) is quite easily Dupieux’s most accomplished piece of work to date, a laugh out loud surrealist comedy filled to the brim with wit and intelligence.
A series of scenes involving characters that seemingly have nothing to do with each other play out mysteriously in front of us, the viewers. A young girl stays in the family’s car, while her dad goes hunting, and later on, the young girl finds a VHS tape in the carcass of the dead animal; A host of a cooking show (played by NAPOLEON DYNAMITE‘s Jon Heder) can’t get through a segment due to the continual itching of a rash that only he can see (all while wearing a rat suit); The camera man trying to film the segment meets with a producer (who is having problems with the director of the film about the girl and the VHS tape…yeah, scratching your head yet), and pitches an epic horror film, but will only get the greenlight if he can come up with an “award-worthy” groan for the film’s victims….and the film begins.
While that setup might push some away, it’s that completely outside of the box approach that makes Dupieux’s films so entertaining. It’s almost as if HE is finding out what connects his film and its characters as we, the viewers are. While some would call it Lynchian, due to the odd tone and plot, Quentin opts for more of a comedic approach, and REALITY is just that: HILARIOUS. In between the film within a film, reality lost somewhere in a dream (or nightmare), there’s a very sly and addictive film that is impossible NOT to think of when the end credits roll. It’s a masterwork of surrealist comedy, with enough memorable performances, guts in a trashcan, and just weirdness to please the most die hard cinephile, a film that just exudes Dupeiux’s love for cinema, and for comedy.
It’s obvious that the filmmaker has an impressive amount of talent, and if his future work is at least a little on par with REALITY, then the director has something of a masterpiece in store, as REALITY is a film that reels you in, and leaves you smiling from ear to ear. A connecting story, falling into each of its elements little by little, until you find yourself laughing in tears.