Men and Chicken Review

Men and Chicken

Which came first, the chicken or the man?

Watch Anders Thomas Jensen’s brilliantly twisted film Men and Chicken, and you just might find out.

Gabriel is a dutiful son watching over his father’s last moments in a deserted hospital.

Chasteningly, his father seems more interested in where Gabriel’s brother Elias is, and with good reason.

You see, these brothers are more than a little strange, though after Elias’ attitude to online dating, women, chicken and his brother are hilariously spelt out in his opening scene, it’s plain to see that some brothers are more strange than others.

Their dying father’s last wish may shed a little light on their strangeness though, as he tells two sons that he is not their biological father.

Of course, he only manages this through a video message from beyond the grave, and that was because Elias stopped at a lay-by on his way to the hospital so he could relieve himself – and not in the way that you’re thinking.

For Gabriel, this news brings the understandable relief of only being Elias’ half brother.

For Elias, there is the understandable pain and anxiety of Gabriel trying to distance himself even further from his ridiculous ways.

But, despite wanting to cast his younger brother adrift as he goes in search of their real father, Gabriel can not bring himself to leave Elias behind.

Blood is thicker than water after all, though Gabriel may wish it wasn’t after he meets the rest of his and Elias’ biological family.

I’ve never seen any of Anders Thomas Jensen’s films before Men and Chicken, but now that i have I’ll be checking out the rest of this Danish director’s oeuvre pretty soon.

Men and Chicken is a brilliantly conceived and twisted comedy about the madness that lies within our true nature, and our desire to find out why we are the way we are.

Whether that’s to accept or reject who we are, well that’s up to each individual.

Mads Mikkelson is brilliant as Elias, a most ridiculous human being who isn’t afraid to utter the most ludicrous of inside thoughts he has with his loudest outside voice.

But this film is an ensemble affair, with David Dancik playing Elias’ angel winged brother Gabriel, and a trio of less famous danish actors making up our two brothers new family.

To say any more might give away the beauty of Jensen’s clever script, but you won’t find a more original or brilliantly dark comedy than Men and Chicken.

As for which came first out of chicken and men, you’ll get your answer by the end of the film – even if it’s not the one you want.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

October 2015