15 - 82mins - Comedy/Drama/Horror - 10th November 2010
Now here is a strange and weird one for you to get your teeth into. I saw a trailer for this several months back and although I knew this was going to be no high roller, it intrigued me so much that I just had to watch it. Rubber is all about a tyre named Robert. One day Robert who used to be just like and other inanimate tyre comes into existence and starts rolling around the desert where he discovers that he also has telepathic powers enabling him to blow things up with his mind. During the movie he also gains a love interest in the form of Sheila (Roxane Mesquida) and woe betide anyone that gets in his way.
The opening sequence is quite possibly one of the weirdest that I have ever seen from a movie but it introduces us to the main concept that it's based around..... "no reason". This somewhat gives Quentin Dupieux, the director, a free licence to do whatever he wants. A sheriff (Stephen Spinella) directly addresses the viewer breaking the so called fourth wall and throughout we are continuously reminded that we are watching a movie, altering the norm of trying to draw the viewer into the movie experience. Not only this but there is also an audience watching the movie from within the movie via binoculars. (Your just going to have to watch it for this to make more sense.)
I did like the way that Robert was cleverly moved around and would be intrigued to know the techniques that were implemented to make that happen. What with the main 'character' being unable to speak, the score of the movie took precedent for large parts in an attempt to make us feel for Robert and I think a combination of this and the cinematography (including plenty of close-ups and 'tyre-cam' shots) really worked to bring home his character. He also has flashbacks/dreams, gets tired and does normal menial tasks that we do so he becomes rather human in some respects.
Along with the in-movie audience, the sheriff is also hard to work out and it isn't obvious if he knows that he is an actor who wants to finish or if he is just a character who wants the story to end so he can go home. Along with sneaking in other movie references (try and spot the obvious Hitchcock for example) Dupieux (a DJ) also mocks his own movie where at one point Robert's love interest states- "Who wrote this garbage?" when reading from a script the sheriff had given her.
Add to this some dark comedy and a fair dose of dry wit which gave me a few moments of laughter and it's looking like an even stranger movie. My overall emotions were probably that of confusion and intrigue which drew me through some parts where there was a bit of repetition- i.e. bang goes another head. This leads me onto the gore which was present but if you are expecting a massive blood-fest then I don't think this movie is quite what you are looking for.
This is definitely one you are either going to love or hate and I think I loved it. It is certainly the most original piece of film work that I have seen in a long time with good music, cinematography and that feeling that it's not quite as one dimensional as it wants people to think it is. Yes the plot can drag slightly but anyone who can make a tyre seem interesting in any way has my vote!
What did you think of this review?