This month I watched the film Visioneers, starring Zack Galifianakis and Judy Greer.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I selected this movie. Really, the thing that made me pick this one was the cast. I like ZG. He’s a funny guy. He’s also kind of weird, so I figured that any movie featuring him as the starring actor is going to be a little off-beat.
Welp. I was right. This one is definitely well off the beaten path.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this movie. It’s just…different.
Visually, I would place this somewhere between American Psycho and American Beauty. There are many scenes that are just…barren. Austere offices and homes with neutral tones. For the first half of the movie, colors are washed out. The only time they ever seem to pop is on a television program or in a dream sequence.
In terms of narrative and plot, this movie reminded me of Mike Judge’s work. It was a little more heavy handed in some respects, but there was definitely a clear sense of social satire similar to Idiocracy‘s or Office Space.
Basically, Visioneers is about a world where intimacy and independence are rapidly disappearing commodities. People spend all their time worshiping television personalities, binge eating, and being productive employees.
Everyone lives in constant fear of…well…exploding. I don’t mean that as a metaphor- people fucking explode in this movie.
And what’s great about this plot element is that everything is permeated by a thick layer of tension and anticipation. It could happen at any moment and people go to great (absurd) lengths to avoid it.
It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people explode because they’re stressed (and repressed, and forced to behave as a cog in a machine) and they’re stressed because they might explode.
A lot of the humor in this movie comes from the sheer absurdity that is played with a completely straight face. The very first scene has the main character greeting his coworkers at the Jeffers Company with a good morning and a middle finger, which has become the “Jeffers Salute.”
There were some issues with pacing, and as I said before, things were pretty heavy handed in some respects. But in all, this is a pretty good movie. I would say if you’re looking for something watch and reflect on a little, Visioneers would be a good choice.