As far as debut films go, Spencer Susser created a fine piece of screen work when he wrote and directed Hesher. Like I said last year (in the 50/50 post), Hesher is among my favorites and there are various reasons for this notion.
The plot of the movie is quite dark – a young boy T.J. (Devin Brochu), in the center of it all, has lost his mother and in some ways, his depressed father (Rainn Wilson). There is some slight attention from his grandmother but it is clear that he is the loner type. He meets Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in an unfortunate situation which leads into the long-haired homeless man almost beating him up in a parking lot. But no movie is complete with a woman, Nicole (Natalie Portman) jumps to the rescue and there is no doubt that T.J. develops a fondness towards her.
This might be the whole plot but Hesher’s unpredictable characteristics lead him to hide out at T.J.’s house. His father and grand-mother pretty much accept him (in some ways) and so does the boy – although it is obvious that nobody can really like Hesher. So while the story unravels and the characters evolve, Hesher stays in the center of these events and causes some trouble on his own. I have no real idea what Hesher is really thinking, I doubt that he himself knows, I doubt Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Susser even knew – that what the character is best described with. The unexplained actions, the unpredictability of his ways and the things he says. It is some what clear that he does like the grand-‘mother and displays affection towards her the most but other than that, he is the unconventional hero of the movie that just happens to step into the families life.
Hesher has a great cast, since I like Gordon-Levitt and his body of work his portrayal of Hesher is some what perfect in my eyes. Although I do not care for Portman, she manages to bring something to the table and since her character is unpleasant (she does something that makes T.J. mad) it is really easy to imagine her in this role from my point of view. My favorite moment is the end, the final monologue by Hesher and the action that follows it – I am not gonna spoil it but I can definitely say that the end of the movie is in its black-humor ways just a cherry on the top for the whole experience.
- The main reason why I liked it – the randomness of it all, the unexplained and the dark humor it ended up displaying. And of course Gordon-Levitt might be a slight part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much – 4,5 out of 5.