Saying that Wrong, the new film by French director and lover of all things non-sequitur Quentin Dupieux, is strange does the film somewhat of an injustice. Not because the movie surpasses the limits of strange (although, to be fair, it does), but because strange implies something nonsensical, content that defies explanation or logic. Wrong is a film that, despite being so bizarre, manages to come around full circle and make sense at the end. All its surreal imagery has purpose at the end, and the film is at its strongest at the last moments where one can step back and appreciate it as a whole.
Wrong begins with Dolph Springer, a man who inhabits a slightly off- kilter universe in which trees "make sense" based on their own unique place and offices shower their seemingly unaware employees with torrential rain. He is a simple man: he goes to work every day and enjoys the company of his gardener Victor, a man who seems to be forcing an unneeded French accent. Dolph wakes up one morning to find his dog has gone missing, and embarks on a journey to rescue his pooch from whatever peril it seems to have run across. To summarize the movie any more would be a disservice, as the best part of the film is the pleasant little surprises that come along the way.
What I can tell you is that the film is absolutely absurd. From William Fichtner's restrained but subtly outrageous performance as this world's version of a zen master to a strange sequence that refuses to define itself as reality or dream, there is enough outlandish content to fill any surrealists imagination. Although these elements are certainly bizarre, it still feels like they deliver a message. They contribute to a feeling that there is something deeper being said, and by the end one walks out with a feeling that Dupieux subtly and ever so brilliantly schooled the audience.
That being said, the movie has problems. For large chunks of the film, especially during a tour of a small animals digestive tract (don't ask), it feels like the director is treading water. In fact, I would go as far as to say that a good quarter of the movie loses its surreal edge, and becomes more than a little monotonous. These scenes clog the movie, and get more than a little frustrating as it holds back an otherwise breezy and enjoyably silly movie.
It's a shame I can't go deeper into the movie, to explain the emotions that built inside me by the end or the flaws that made the movie shy of greatness. It's a movie that works better the less you know about it, plain and simple.