THE MAN WHO KILLED AND ATE THE THING HE LOVED

THE MAN WHO KILLED AND ATE THE THING HE LOVED
3 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 16 minutes
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It’s probably going to be apparent, so I’ll just come right out and say it. I don’t get it. I watched this film twice, set it aside for a few days, watched it again and still don’t get it. The plot was easy enough to follow – the opening shot introduces Hank and Daphne, who are, shall we say, having a delicate moment. “I love you,” intones Hank, while Daphne looks elsewhere, not paying attention. Moments later, they’re at the window, and Daphne can hear dogs barking –”Whose dogs are those?” Hank doesn’t know. Then up come the title cards, of sort, which read: “First they ate his horses. Then they ate his boots.”
And now we’re outside, and an oddly dressed man is pushing a cart filled with fruits and vegetables towards Hank’s house. Hank, it seems, has a harem, and the women, including Daphne, are desperate for meat. The vendor has no meat, and Hank wishes to oblige Daphne, so he has his harem carry him around in a little cart, while another member of his household pushes a stove behind him. They wander for a while, then spot a nest in the trees, which the women knock down to collect the eggs inside of it. The eggs are cooked for Hank, who opts to complain about the potatoes. He tries to send the food back to the cook, but Daphne intercepts and eats some of the egg, which throws Hank into a rage. So Daphne becomes the cook. They find the dog that was barking off screen earlier in the film, and try to get it to lead them to meat. But they don’t find anything. So they go home.
Hank kills and eats the thing he loves, and the harem feasts. The film ends with the following dialogue: “You cannot eat yourself. You can only eat others.”
The credits roll, and I’m left sitting on the couch trying to puzzle out what I just saw. Did I miss a detail? Is there a moral to the story? It played like a drama, and there was a twist of sorts, which might have affected me more had I not seen it coming since the middle of the film.
It’s unfortunate that I can’t think of a way to give this a higher grade. It’s well acted and well shot, and the locations are beautiful. It is, truly, a fairly original idea and the execution left nothing to be desired, save the complete lack of a point.
Perhaps this was supposed to serve as an exercise, or as small section of a larger film, one where we learn where all the meat went and why this seems to take place in a post-apocalyptic future, and just what is going on anyway. I’ve admitted that I don’t get the film, but I suspect that it’s because there simply wasn’t anything to get.

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Posted on November 9, 2003 in Reviews by
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