There are two ways to look at Gerry, as an exasperating exercise in perseverance (both for the characters and the audience), and as an experimental film. The plot is minimal, as is the dialogue. Two guys get lost. That's it. They start off hiking on a trail, because one guy (Matt Damon, The Bourne Identity, Confessions of A Dangerous Mind) wants to show his friend (Casey Affleck, Ocean's Eleven, Soul Survivors) a "thing" at the end of a trail. They go off the trail, and wander around for a couple of days. They talk about Wheel of Fortune for a little bit. They wander around. They talk about a computer game. They wander around. They use the word "Gerry" as a verb, noun, and adjective.
The bulk of Gerry is Damon and Affleck wandering around, and some beautiful shots of the sky and scenery by director Gus Van Sant (Finding Forrester, Psycho). For people looking for something to grasp onto, Gerry is not the movie for them. It is fair to say that this is a boring movie. Van Sant presents little for anybody to grasp onto, he is operating more abstractly. He shares writing credit with Damon and Affleck, although, as mentioned previously, there is really not much plot to write. It never becomes a test of human endurance for the two men. In fact, neither seems to care that much about their situation until well into the movie when Affleck finally reacts.
It almost feels like Van Sant is using Gerry to practice filmmaking techniques. He uses time-lapse photography to simulate the quick passage of time. There's some nice work with lighting and sound. The landscape changes from desert brush, to mountains and crevasses, sand dunes, barren rock, and random diverse things. It's all very meditative, but not on the nature of life or anything of substance. In fact, it puts the focus back onto Damon and Affleck, and makes people wonder what kind of idiots these people actually are. It's all just so gerry.
|Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.|
|1 hour, 43 minutes, Rated R for language.|
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