Watch Clean, Shaven
- 1 hr 19 min
In Clean, Shaven, director Lodge Kerrigan offers a haunting and atmospheric depiction of a schizophrenic man's search for his estranged daughter while grappling with the delusions and paranoia that plague him. Peter Greene stars as Peter Winter, a recently released mental patient whose struggles with auditory hallucinations and erratic behavior are rendered in unflinching detail. The film opens with Winter shaving his head and burying a used razor in the woods, a foreshadowing of the self-harm and mutilation that pervades the narrative.
As Winter seeks to reconnect with his daughter, he is pursued by a detective (played by Robert Albert) whose investigation into a child abduction case has led him to suspect Winter, despite a lack of concrete evidence. The parallel narratives of Winter's personal quest and the detective's investigation create a sense of mounting tension, as both men edge closer to potentially catastrophic outcomes.
What sets Clean, Shaven apart, however, is Kerrigan's intimate and visceral approach to depicting the experiences of schizophrenia. Through the use of sound design and visual techniques, he immerses the viewer in Winter's disorienting and often terrifying perspective. The distorted and overlapping soundscape, which includes snippets of radio broadcasts and indistinct murmurs, reflects Winter's internal dialogue as well as the auditory hallucinations that torment him. Similarly, the jittery and impressionistic cinematography, with its use of extreme close-ups and handheld shots, conveys Winter's disconnection from reality.
Throughout the film, Kerrigan refuses to provide easy answers or conventional narrative signposts. Instead, he invites the audience to enter Winter's disorienting and fragmented world, where the boundaries between truth and fiction, reality and imagination, are perpetually blurred. This is particularly evident in the film's climax, which incorporates a jarring and ambiguous twist that leaves the viewer questioning the veracity of what has come before.
Despite its challenging subject matter and often disturbing imagery, Clean, Shaven is a deeply affecting and haunting exploration of one man's struggle to navigate a world that is at once terrifying and inexplicable. It was widely praised upon its release, with critics hailing Kerrigan's uncompromising vision and Greene's commitment to portraying a complex and troubled character.
In particular, Greene's performance as Winter is a highlight of the film. His intense and nuanced portrayal captures both the vulnerability and volatility of the character, as well as the profound sadness and longing that drive his actions. Alice Levitt and Megan Owen appear in smaller roles as, respectively, Winter's ex-wife and daughter, but their presence is felt throughout the narrative as a reminder of the fractured relationships that have led him to this point.
Clean, Shaven is a challenging and deeply rewarding cinematic experience, a reminder of the power of film to immerse us in the subjective experiences of others and to challenge our preconceptions about what constitutes a "normal" or "healthy" mind. It is a film that demands to be seen and discussed, an uncompromising and haunting exploration of the human psyche that lingers long after the credits have rolled.
Clean, Shaven is a 1993 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.