A movie review of “Reality”: Dreams, movies within movies and reality (such as it is) mix in Quentin Dupieux’s latest absurdist comedy.
The indecipherability of “Reality,” the latest absurdist deathtrap from Quentin Dupieux (“Rubber,” “Wrong”), begins with its title: “Reality” is actually the name of a girl (Kyla Kenedy) who spots a blue VHS tape inside the guts of the hog her father has shot. A hog ingesting a videotape — or even the continued use of tapes — makes as much sense as anything else in this sardonic, self-devouring comedy, in which dreams, movies within movies and reality (such as it is) mix.
Jason Tantra (Alain Chabat), a cameraman on a cooking show with a rat-costume-wearing host (Jon Heder), is given a provisional green light to make a horror film, if he can devise a death-groan sound that will win the producer (Jonathan Lambert) an Oscar. Reality — the girl — stars in a film being made by the same producer. And around and around Dupieux’s exercise goes.
The funniest material involves Jason, who is haunted by visions of winning the nonexistent award. At one point, Jason, discovering that his unfilmed movie has already been made, begs a theater audience to stop watching: “This film doesn’t exist yet!”
‘Reality,’ with Kyla Kenedy, Alain Chabat, Jon Heder, Jonathan Lambert. Written and directed by Quentin Dupieux. 95 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. In English and French, with English subtitles. Grand Illusion.
The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.
Each narrative fissure further thwarts meaning. The most you can ask from a movie as nullifying as this one is that it offer wit and visual panache, which it does. “Reality” ekes out a few laughs that aren’t purely theoretical.
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