- 1 hr 40 min
Hesher is a dark comedy-drama film from 2010 that explores themes of grief, loss, and redemption. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular character, Hesher, a metalhead who shows up unannounced at the home of the grieving Forney family. Devin Brochu plays T.J. Forney, a young boy who has recently lost his mother and is struggling to cope with his emotions. Natalie Portman plays Nicole, a grocery clerk who takes an interest in T.J.'s well-being.
The film opens with a montage of T.J.'s life before his mother's death. He was a happy-go-lucky kid, but after his mother's car accident, everything changed. His father, Paul (played by Rainn Wilson), is in a state of shock and depression, unable to connect with his son or take care of the house. T.J. is left to fend for himself, trying to hold things together while also dealing with his own grief.
Enter Hesher. The character is introduced in a hilariously unexpected way - he drives his beat-up van through a fence and crashes into T.J.'s backyard. He stumbles out of the van, almost seeming like a figment of T.J.'s imagination at first. Hesher is a force of nature - he's foul-mouthed, aggressive, and doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything. He immediately makes himself at home in the Forney household, much to the chagrin of T.J.'s grandmother (played by Piper Laurie) who lives with them.
At first, T.J. is scared of Hesher, but he's also fascinated by him. Hesher is like nothing he's ever seen before - he has tattoos, piercings, and spiky hair. He listens to heavy metal music and smokes weed constantly. T.J. spends more and more time with Hesher, even skipping school to hang out with him. Hesher becomes a kind of surrogate father figure to T.J., teaching him how to stand up for himself and not take any crap from anyone.
Along the way, Hesher gets into various scrapes and conflicts, including a run-in with a group of bullies who pick on T.J. Hesher is not afraid to use violence to solve problems, and his antics often have dire consequences. But he also has moments of surprising tenderness and wisdom. He helps T.J. deal with his feelings of anger and sadness, and he even has a heart-to-heart with Nicole about her own struggles.
Natalie Portman's character, Nicole, is a bit of a subplot in the movie, but she still adds a lot of depth to the story. She's a free spirit who's trying to escape from her own problems by helping others. She takes T.J. under her wing and tries to get him to open up about his feelings. She also feels a connection to Hesher, which leads to a memorable scene where the two of them bond over a joint and talk about life.
As the movie progresses, Hesher's presence becomes more and more destructive. His behavior becomes increasingly erratic and violent, and he seems to be leading T.J. down a dangerous path. The Forney family is torn between wanting to help T.J. and wanting to get rid of Hesher. But as the film reaches its climax, Hesher's true intentions are revealed, and the characters are forced to confront their deepest fears and desires.
Overall, Hesher is a unique and compelling film that defies easy categorization. It's funny, poignant, and sometimes shocking, with a cast of characters who are all flawed and complex. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an electrifying performance as Hesher, bringing both menace and charm to the role. Devin Brochu is equally impressive as T.J., capturing the character's vulnerability and resilience. And Natalie Portman, despite having a relatively small role, shines in every scene she's in. The film is a meditation on the power of grief, the importance of human connection, and the need to find meaning in life's chaos. It's definitely not for everyone - the humor is often vulgar, and the violence can be disturbing - but for those willing to take the journey, Hesher is a rewarding and unforgettable experience.
Hesher is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 45.