January 28, 2015

Ned Rifle (2014)

Ned Rifle (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Hal Hartley
Country: USA

Movie Review: Hal Hartley, faithful to his own style, haunts us with “Ned Rifle”, the third part of the trilogy that started with “Henry Fool” in 1997, and had its middle part in 2006 with “Fay Grim”. Liam Aiken is Ned Rifle Grim, a chaste religious young man devoted to God, who decides to chase down and kill his own father, Henry Fool, the one responsible for the ruin of his mother, Fay, who was sentenced to life in prison as traitor of the nation. The only one who knows his evil intentions is his best friend and spiritual guide, Rev. Daniel Garden who helps him with money but gets shocked with the possibility of his protégé commit a mortal sin. Ned is advised by his mom to go to speak with his uncle Simon, a poet who now wants to be an online stand-up comedian, in order to obtain more information about his father’s whereabouts. At Simon’s place, he bumps into a graduate student, Susan, who happens to be the same girl who was molested by the mad Henry Fool when she was only 13. Obsessed with Henry, and with a past marked by violence and psychological disturbance, she is also trying to reach him for dubious reasons. The chain effect is hilarious – Ned following Henry; Susan following Ned; Simon following Susan - and even believing that we have seen something similar before, the plot still casts some motivating twists. With funny dark sarcasm and a stirring climax, “Ned Rifle” finishes the trilogy in big, being a Hal Hartley’s comedy in every sense. Sometimes obscene, sometimes literary, Rifle can be also defined as offbeat and idiosyncratic. In spite of living by itself, it will be better appreciated by the viewers who are acquainted with the two previous chapters.

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