A watermelon-themed musical goes up against a guy with anger issues:
The Hole from director Ming-liang Tsai is one of my favorite movies. I’ve attempted to watch his film The Wayward Cloud several times in the past, but failed to get beyond the first ten minutes or so. This is due to a semi-pornographic scene involving a woman in a nurse uniform and a watermelon. At best, I find eroticism and food to be queasily incompatible. That gloopy stretch at the beginning proved too much to handle for my delicate sensibilities. Now that I have mustered the will to surmount the viewing obstacle, I can say that The Wayward Cloud is similar to The Hole. Just a lot less fun.
Like The Hole (I wrote about it a while back in this article), The Wayward Cloud has sparse dialogue and a number of musical interludes. Also, both are quirky romantic tales that take place during a crisis situation (The Hole is set during a weird apocalyptic event, while The Wayward Cloud concerns a water shortage). Where the two depart considerably is that The Wayward Cloud contains explicit sex scenes and a darker tone. The endings are strangely comparable, but the vibe I got from them was totally different. The Hole left me feeling upbeat. The Wayward Cloud left me in a state of WTF?
Tyrannosaur is another romance, though it doesn’t end as fancifully or perplexingly as Ming-liang Tsai’s two films. Nor are there any musical numbers (outside of a guy playing guitar during a funeral). It’s one of those movies where a mean SOB rediscovers his purpose in life after meeting a good woman. She’s a Christian with an abusive husband and he’s an angry widower. Together, they find happiness. I don’t think Tyrannosaur is particularly unique compared to other films like it. There is an act of revenge that wasn’t quite what I expected. Otherwise, the story doesn’t really cover much new ground. The Wayward Cloud is at least a more distinctive effort, if not as easy to get into. I did like actress Olivia Colman in Tyrannosaur, though. Here she is with the director Paddy Considine discussing the film:
Strand Releasing has been distributing and producing films since 1989 (here’s their official website). Along with The Wayward Cloud and Tyrannosaur, these are currently the Top 10 best films from Strand according to Flickchart’s global rankings that are available on Netflix Instant: