By Don Simpson | April 30, 2015
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Starring: Alain Chabat, Jonathan Lambert, Élodie Bouchez, Kyla Kenedy, Jon Heder, Eric Wareheim, John Glover, Lola Delon, Matt Battaglia, Susan Diol, Erik Passoja, Jonathan Spencer, Bambadjan Bamba, Michel Hazanavicius, Roxane Mesquida
A wild boars swallows a VHS tape whole; a TV show host dressed in a rat costume is haunted by imaginary eczema; an aspiring director searches for an Oscar-worthy moan; a cross-dressing Principal drives around in an Army jeep. These examples of unbridled lunacy are just the tips of the iceberg of Quentin Dupieux’s strangely wonderful Reality.
Reality is the stream of consciousness of a mad cinematic scientist, intertwining the perspectives of Jason (Alain Chabat), Reality (Kyla Kenedy), Zog (John Glover), and Henri (Eric Wareheim) to the point of sheer mindfuckery. While keeping with the absurdist tendencies of Rubber and Wrong, Reality is heavily dosed with the meandering dream logic of surrealism. Showcased in a brilliant menagerie of dreams, films-within-films and presumed realities, Reality abides by Dupieux’s mantra of “no reason” as it fluidly contorts into a rat’s nest of narrative threads, simultaneously unfolding and folding within itself like a M. C. Escher illustration.
All the while, Dupieux toys with the audience, as if to challenge them to make sense of what seems to be some sort of elaborate brain teaser. If Reality has any “real” message, it could have something to do with the filmmaker’s relentless pursuit of perfection…or perhaps it is about the convergence of cinema and dreams…or maybe it has something to do with cinematic perspective. Regardless of its meaning, Reality will leave most viewers scratching at the proverbial eczema on the inside of their head.