Sundance 2012 Review: ‘Wrong’

My reviews of Quentin Dupieux movies always end up short. I think it’s because I get them, and that’s it. No need to overanalyze. I will analyze it a little though. Wrong is clearly from the same voice that made Rubber. It’s another “no reason” movie, where random absurd things happen, but they do have something to say despite all their randomness.

Rubber had fun with the conventions of the viewing experience we take for granted. Wrong is about the absurdity of all our mutually agreed upon social interactions. We just accept that when we’re fired, we stop going to work. Why would we necessarily agree to that? Dolph (Jack Plotnick) keeps going because he feels like it. Also his office is raining inside.

A police offer explains the façade of his procedures. A neighbor performs common courtesies in an inappropriate order. Dolph has a deep analytical conversation with a pizza delivery operator about their logo. I love the serious analysis of unimportant information.

It’s all random but the point of view suggests that this shouldn’t be random. It’s the social order that’s ridiculous. Why should we all agree to behave a certain way? There’s 7 billion people. Surely some of them have different values and interests. In Dupieux’s movies, whatever he wants to happen can happen and I won’t give away the fun details, but man, they’re random.

Dupieux never explains the absurd. I’ve seen art movies where they experiment with our assumptions about different actors filling the same role (from Bunuel to David Lynch), but they never have fun with it. In Wrong, innocent pizza operator Emma (Alexis Dziena) never wavers in her belief that her life is totally consistent, even with different people replacing each other. Her birth is all sorts of random.

Remember what Dupieux did to all the spectators in Rubber? He takes it a step further in Wrong. There’s a fun riff on the technology and memory, and William Fichtner plays a Chinese pet guru. All of this happens for no reason, as it should. Being awesome is the only reason it needs, but Dupieux keeps coming at situations from an angle that bears reflection.

I only like Wrong a little less than Rubber because the subject of Rubber is my world. I obsess about the viewing experience so that’s my love. I’m totally happy with Wrong though. It will make a great double feature and fit in with my future “no reason” marathons.