Director Gus Van Sant, who recently gave us the ridiculously conceived
shot-for-shot recreation of PSYCHO, is back with GERRY, a picture that's
both pretty and pretty vacuous. If you've been needing to catch up on your
sleep, a ticket to GERRY is just what you need. One could argue that the
film has a certain tranquility to it, yielding the same hypnotic effect
produced by staring for two hours at an aquarium.
The story concerns two guys named Gerry, played by Casey Affleck and Matt
Damon, who foolishly decide to talk a walk off the beaten path in the
desert. Carrying no food or water, they quickly get lost. Not only are the
two Gerrys dumb, they are also singularly inarticulate. A high point of
their conversations is a discussion about a really stupid "Wheel of Fortune"
contestant. Most of the time, however, they are completely silent. Using
long, uncut scenes of the guys walking and walking and walking, Van Sant
appears to be attempting to wear us down by turning the movie into a torture
chamber for viewers. A short movie might have been tolerable, but why in
the world would Van Sant think we needed one-and-three-quarter hours of this
"This is going to take forever," Gerry says to Gerry at one point. And it
does. On our honeymoon thirty-four years ago, my wife and I traveled
through the desert for the first time. We took hundreds of pictures of the
beautiful rocks we observed. When we looked at the slides later, we
realized that a dozen pictures would have more than sufficed. Similarly,
ten minutes of GERRY would be plenty.
GERRY runs an excruciatingly long 1:43. It is rated R for "language" and
would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes