Gerry

"OK"

Gerry Review


An inexplicably compelling, far-outside-the-box excursion from director Gus Van Sant, "Gerry" is a modestly sweeping experimental movie -- one of very long takes and very little dialogue -- about little more than two buddies getting lost in the desert.

Having wandered off the trail on their way to some informal rest-stop attraction, at first the two road-trippers (Van Sant's co-writers Casey Affleck and Matt Damon) aren't too worried about their predicament. Flushed with the assumed immortality of youth, they're certain the freeway is just over this hill or that -- or at least they'll be able to see it from the next crest.

They walk with purpose and almost enjoy the adventure, even making light when Affleck scrambles up a rock outcropping to scout the area and can't find his way back down. As Damon rakes the ground with his foot to build a feeble "dirt mattress" to break his friend's fall, they snicker and bicker and troubleshoot the situation, debating the odds of a broken ankle if he jumps.

But over several days of wandering through increasingly barren terrains that look less and less like the scrub brush where they parked the car, the pals (who call each other Gerry, a word that serves as a noun, adjective and verb in their personal vernacular) gradually become dispirited, dehydrated ghosts of their former selves, slowly, weakly, silently shuffling across barren, never-ending expanses of hard white sand.

In a cunning stroke of transfixing simplicity, Van Sant, who became friends with his stars when they were making "Good Will Hunting" (written by Damon and Casey's more famous brother Ben), captures the isolation and desolation -- and the paradoxical beauty -- of this fateful journey by treating the camera almost as an invisible, unblinking third party.

Single shots last several curiously engrossing minutes at a stretch, sometimes depicting modestly funny escapades (the rock incident), sometimes depicting offhand conversation (to break up the tedium, Affleck tells Damon the story of his victory in a long-format video game), and sometimes quietly capturing the unspoken fear and frustration as the men trudge blindly along, not even knowing why they're doing it anymore.

The movie's longest, most silent and most uneventful scene is also its most beautiful and fascinating. It's a shot that begins in the near blackness of pre-dawn, following the crestfallen men from several yards behind as they stagger, only out of habit, through a seemingly vast empty lake bed into the rising sun.

"Gerry" is not a movie about dramatic subjects like survival (no mention is made of hunger) or self-discovery. Nor is it about ostentatious acting challenges (stylistically it is the polar opposite of Tom Hanks' showboating loneliness in "Cast Away"). But it is a meditative, metaphorical, metaphysical, largely internalized exploration of friendship and personal tribulation. And it's a welcome return of Van Sant to his roots as one of American cinema's more daring filmmakers.



Gerry

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th September 2002

Budget: $3.5M

Distributed by: FilmFour

Production compaines: Tango Films, Epsilon Motion Pictures, My Cactus

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 39

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Gerry, as Gerry

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.