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HELP! A Bear is Eating Me!

HELP!  A Bear is Eating Me! - Mykle Hansen This character was a bigot, but he was beloved by audiences. Probably because his delivery made clear that his prejudices were rooted in ignorance, not hate. Also, writers never put him in situations where it was easy for him to act on his misguided impulses to actually treat anybody unfairly, or do them harm. It's a fine line for writers to walk- creating a deeply flawed, but somehow sympathetic character. I'm sure the creators of All In the Family must have gotten hate mail from people who found Archie Bunker just a bit too objectional.Then there's Alex...In the first hour of A Clockwork Orange, the audience watches him rape a young woman, beat up a defenseless old man, cut his friend's hand, insult his parents, steal a car, break into a house, lie to a priest, and kill an old lady. He's about as objectional a character as you could possibly hope to create... and yet, when he's strapped into that chair, hooked up to all those wires, being brainwashed by the State to become ill when he hears Beethoven's beautiful 9th symphony... you somehow feel sorry for him. You don't want to hang out with him, but you regard him as a vicious little animal. He's scared. He doesn't know any better. Maybe he should be destroyed, but you aren't comfortable watching him being tortured. I imagine it must be quite a trick to get a character like that right. You've got to finesse just the perfect mix of evil and vulnerability.Exhibit 3: Jocks and fratboys.They're usually smug, immature shits who bully less-athletic students who were just minding their own business... and as a reward for their asshole behavior, girls drool all over them ...while you're at home studying, trying to get into a good college! And what does she see in him, anyhow? She sucks his dick because he can throw a football? ...WTF!? What does she get out of it? What do they ever talk about? I mean, look at him! He's an idiot! Doesn't she know what a nice and sensitive guy I am?*Ahem!*...as I was saying, these are highly unsympathetic characters, and yet who here didn't think Animal House was hilarious? It fucking was. Why? Well, for one thing, you weren't the target of Bluto's shinanigans. (Note:I promised myself I would use the word "shinanigans" in a review this year... ✓) For another thing, nobody was actually seriously hurt in that film, so to an omniscient observer, it was all just a bunch of high-spirited hijinx. (Note: I also wanted to use the work hijinx... ✓) That's important. If anybody gets hurt, it should be the jock himself- like Ram (above), from Heathers, who gets hilariously murdered and framed for a suicide pact. If you don't know what I'm talking about, turn the fucking computer off right this instant and go rent the movie!Help! A Bear is Eating Me does a good job creating the strangely-lovable asshole character, Marv Pushkin. He's everything I've stated above and more. I enjoy most of the shots taken at Marvy, because Mykle Hanson seems to share my distaste for the corporate world, and I enjoy him ripping on the many lowlifes (lowlives?) who inhabit the corporate highlife. Marv is a rising star executive, on retreat up in Alaska in one of those oh-so-corny off-site teambuilding "retreats". The plot- and I hope I'm not spoiling anything here- is that he gets eaten by a bear. There's a little more than that, but not much more. Flashbacks do occur, and there's an amazing amount of expository dialogue, considering Marv is alone through like 90% of the book. I hope that doesn't come across snarky; it's actually an impressive feat of writing.But if the whole story is Marv getting devoured, how can there be any character development? How can there be a crisis, a climax, and a resolution? I recommend you read the book. I am ambivalent about the ending... on one hand, part of me wants to see Marv suffer, but that's actually the least satisfying way to handle this sort of character. Vengence feels good in the short term, but it isn't healthy. Also, if it's overdone, it can be damaging to the audience. This image freaked me out for a very long time: Seriously.I knew I didn't want Marv to ride into the sunset, unscathed and unrepentant, like Bluto in Animal House or Alex in A Clockwork Orange. What I really wanted is what we all want from jerks like him: we want them to be sorry, and to change. That's really what I want. That's what I always want.Hansen didn't give us that, either."So what did he give us? What's left? What happened?" , you ask?You'll see. Read the book!