Fantasia 2012 Review: WRONG
The plot is quite simple. Former travel agent Dolph Springer (Plotnick) wakes up one morning at 7:60 am to find his loving pooch gone from the house and nowhere to be found. His neighbor, Mike (comedian Regan Jones, hilariously downbeat) is abandoning his own house, perhaps because Dolph mentions Mike's daily jog; something Mike vehement denies he even does. It is raining at Dolph's office, in a Synechdoche, New York sort of way (one of this films many "No Reason" moments) and his co-workers give him the evil eye for, well, best not to reveal why, but suffice it to say, Dolph is a creature of habit. Dolph channels the silent rage brought upon by his own effectually in this particular moment in his life - when any chance of even the smallest of comforts spiraling wildly out of reach - in a Greenberg-esque fit of pique by railing at a badly designed pizza logo. Miscommunication and bad decisions ensue. People unabashedly spout the phrase "vis-à-vis." The movie, in fact, is very much concerned with wondering how any form of human vis-à-vis communication is every truly successful. Personally, I would consider Wrong to be a magnificent double feature with Roy Andersson's Songs from the Second Floor; even though I'm not sure how to pick which film would be the feature and which would be the B-Side.
This brings us to the films coup de grâce in the form of serial scene stealer William Fichtner who plays the mysterious, new-age rich hippie type, Master Chang with the strangest of accents. At my screening, fellow ScreenAnarchy writer Peter Kuplowski amusingly pointed out that this is the closest anyone will ever come to doing Mr. Kobayashi since Pete Postelwaite as passed on to the great tea-cup-maker in the sky. Master Chang's unique line of business is best left undiscussed in a mere film review, but suffice it to say (again) that he has several key insights to as to the why and the how (if not the where) of missing Paul. Chang even has a pet detective (Steve Little of Eastbound & Down and The Catechism Cataclysm) on the case. Both Chang and his pet detective's methods and their back and forths with Dolph underline the big theme of the film: How we tend to over-complicate a situation by sometimes failing to see the glaringly obvious. There is also the case of a dead, maybe not dead, gardener, a curious palm tree and a man who, unsolicited, paints folks cars different colours, because, maybe they might have wanted that rather random service done for them. Wrong is a fan of the negative billion option from your cable company. The film at one point or another demonstrates the tediousness of having to listen to other people explain the dream they had the previous night, the frustration of simply making someone wait and the awkwardness of being in close proximity of anyones intense outpourings of any emotion. With Wrong, Mr. Oizo or Quentin Dupieux does all of these things to his audience in a kinda-meta-kinda-not-sense, and does it often. When the film unfolds on screen not so much as narrative, but rather as a 'metaphorical cinematic stand-up routine,' it is actually pretty great.