This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
hannah’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
(watched with gallo’s commentary)
to think that for years i had mocked this film, and all because of a scene that lasts less than 5 minutes. a scene that’s been misconstrued as one motivated by arrogance or entitlement, when in reality it’s a moment of considerable vulnerability on gallo’s part (in the commentary he mentions being nervous for weeks prior to shooting the scene, and clarifies why he chose to include it in the first place). on that note, gallo’s commentary gives so much perspective on his vision and filmmaking process, and greater insight into him as a person. for someone who is often labeled a narcissist or self-obsessed, gallo clearly has a great deal of insecurities that he doesn’t shy away from in his commentary.
it’s shorter and far more minimalistic than buffalo 66, and yet it feels so much bigger. the many shots of roads across the country and gallo driving are gorgeous to me, and it all helps to illustrate bud’s loneliness and lack of place. his various attempts and failures to move on from daisy’s death are crushing. the film doesn’t feel poorly-paced or boring in any way to me, every scene serves a purpose in telling a story that is based more on feelings than a concrete narrative.
i do have to wonder if people would be as hostile to this film had it been from a different director, but the brown bunny is a product of gallo’s vision and has so much of himself embedded into it in various ways that it couldn’t have been made by anyone else. an astonishingly moving work, one that’s pushed my understanding of cinema forward and has greatly spoken to me as a person.