This Must Be The Place
Cheyenne is a former rock star, who at 50 he still dresses “Goth” and lives in Dublin off his royalties. The death of his father, with whom he wasn’t on speaking terms, brings him back to New York, where he embarks on a road trip of self discovery. Or so I thought. I must have not been paying terribly much attention to the trailer, because I missed a huge part of the plot, but I think that this was due to my being so excited about the prospect of seeing Sean Penn as an aging ex-Glam Rocker who seems to be suffering the effects of too many drugs.
The first part of the film was pretty much how I expected it, but then when Cheyenne gets a call to come over and see his father before he dies, the film takes a strange turn. First whoever, Cheyenne has to get to America, and being too scared to fly, opts for a cruise ship, arriving just after his father has died. His fathers death however doesn’t get in the way of his brother insisting that Cheyenne carry on his fathers work, and telling him how close his father was to tracking down the Nazi war criminal that was responsible for the horrific things done to his father in World War II.
Cheyenne isn’t that keen to embark on a mission to fulfill his father’s lifelong search, but is convinced into doing so.
Aging ex-Glam Rocker on the hunt for a nazi war criminal in America. This Must Be The Place certainly had the weird and quirky market cornered.
Whilst the plot didn’t always make sense, a number of things stood out,the main one of course being Sean Penn’s role as Cheyenne, which was worth the ticket price alone. I’ve never seen Penn in such an outrageously funny role before, and he absolutely owns the character, nailing down the definition of perfection at the same time. The second thing that stood out was the soundtrack by David Byrne, including a live performance of the talking heads song that the film is named after.
The final thing that stood out, is how Paolo Sorrentino managed to tackle the subject of the Holocaust using the medium of comedy with such deft, compassionate and original handling. The climatic scenes of the film turn out to be a total curve ball and somewhat of a lesson for us to rethink history through.
Quirky, a little oddball and laugh out loud funny, the thing that This Must Be The Place leaves you with after the credits have rolled is a refreshingly new perspective on revenge.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read