The Beach Bum: Review by @Kush_Hayes
Im not too familiar with Harmony Korine. I havent seen KIDS since 1996 and I managed to sleep on Spring Breakers all the way up to now and probably beyond. So I went into his new movie The Beach Bum with fresh eyes. I thought I was about to witness a stoner movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg. And to be fair, I guess it delivered that. Its hard to really explain what it is youre exposed to in this 95 min film.
Matthew McConaughey plays Moondog. Hes a poet. He lives everywhere? He seems to go between an apartment, and boat, and anywhere else he manages to wake up from a drunken slumber. He is always drinking, and smoking weed, and just sashaying through life. And everyone loves him. You think hes down on his luck or having trouble managing life, but no this is where he wants to be and he couldnt be happier. Moondogs philosophy on To Be Happy will come up towards the end of the film. Ultimately Moondog is an asshole who somehow goes through life with zero problems.
Why is Moondog an asshole? This guy lives on the street and has nowhere to go. Wrong!
Moondog has a very rich and beautiful wife and a cool daughter who happens to be getting married when Ilsa Fisher, the wife, calls him to let him know hes missing the wedding. Moondog ultimately makes it to the wedding mid ceremony, and makes an entrance where he pushes an old lady in a wheelchair down the walkway into a wall, hard. No one is upset by this. No one checks on the old lady in the wheelchair. The People of this world still find this charming somehow. You wonder if this is some kind of cartoon. Its not.
Eventually there is what should be a tragedy but that doesnt stop the Moondog from being Moondog and just going through life. There are several times where what should be an obstacle be it simple or complex and Moondogs attitude is “Nah, Im gonna smoke some weed and write my poetry” and when one objective is again as simple as “Complete Your Poetry” that just gets moved around like limp dust rag.
The Actors in this are great. Everyone plays a drunk but memorable character. At times you think Moondog might learn something from one of these characters, but he doesnt. The character doesnt learn anything, doesnt ever bow down to pressure or drama. There are times when you the viewer feel like you too are drunk, and thats before the booze you are drinking kicks in.
Despite not knowing what to expect, Im still disappointed.
Two out of Six Blueberries