Ryder and Slater are unbeatable, literally, and yet only Lehmann comes out alive from this “walk in the woods”.
Lehmann is clearly taking risks. No matter how lightly he may take things, the levity doesn’t save him from bombing vigorously. But then, it is neither the warmth nor the drama it every now and then dips into the pool of. So, what is so magnetic about, the director, Michael Lehmann’s project that we are gullible around him. His jokes aren’t that smart, nor his content so layered and deep. I think, it is the cookiness of his world. Just by claiming this a teenager phase, he is not making an excuse. He sticks by it, igniting every action of these characters as a whimsical act- for them, at least- and so blind are they portrayed, that even an awe gasping aftermath that spirals out chaos, cannot shake them awake.
And another major triumph is speaking all of this through a sketchy comic vocab. The humor is subtle and acts respectively on both verbal and physical annotations which may not fill the room with laughter but will definitely plaster a smile in your face throughout the runtime of the film. Even, when these horrendous souls are ordered to look deep into themselves, the sheer pressure of the genre it tries to balance could not bare the heavyweight of the drama.
And in a way, film manages to duck out, its obvious textbook enemy or conflict. Usually, in a film as such, the makers have the urgency to justify and balance the world that they are depicting. But Lehman’s final answer is not the court sentenced justice but the crime, the journey itself is. Something that we have all seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of The Wall Street, whose dark tedious three hour long journey calls out to the payment that was due, something that maybe, Heathers and Winona Ryder pays too.