Warning: This review may contain some spoilers for the uninitiated.
For those readers remotely familiar with Vincent Gallo's Buffalo 66, I need not really say much to pat the man on his back. Buffalo '66 film had layers of dark humor, lots of heart, & quirkiness to make us fall in love with his craft.
Gallo returns with a another love story of sorts but there is really no dark humor or quirkiness here whatsoever. This time around he introduces us to a lonely, lost soul by the name of Bud Clay traveling solo on the highway after just finishing a bike race. Along the way back to California, he meets three different women who all appear to be lacking what it seems he longs for. Love.
In between the meetings of these three unique women, we see many long shots of driving while hearing rather somber music while often iinclude shots of rain which prolong this deep feeling of sadness that our protagonist can't seem to shake.Thus, Brown Bunny is essentially a lugubrious ballad placed on film about the journeys we sometimes make only to find that we can never go back to what we once had. Gallo shows us how much we really want to have hope even though our heart has all but convinced us that there is literally no hope to be found.
Contrary to what reviewers have written, Brown Bunny is a very soft if not slow moving film with very tender scenes much like some of the moments in Buffalo '66. Although the ending will burn you for a long time, the film does have a tremendously huge heart & the ideas Gallo presents here will stay with you long after the final frame.
Brown Bunny itself has two basic meanings although I'm sure each viewer will pick up something totally different. Bud Clay's girlfriend left a pet bunny with her mother when she moved to California & never came back for it. My interpretation: Bud felt like he'd abandoned his love interest when she needed him the in the most crucial moments. Also, Clay had given his girlfriend a chocolate bunny for Easter which she had eaten completely (or so we learn through dialog) & thrown up shortly afterwards. In the most heartfelt dialogue between the two main characters , we learn that he kissed her anyway because he truly loved her even after she vomited.
And now the part you've been waiting for. There is a very graphic oral sex scene at the end of the film (the last ten minutes to be exact) but I personally didn't feel this took anything away from the film. The ending was intended to be very dramatic, emotional, & raw. Highly recommended!