I’m probably one of the many people in the class who favor Heavy Trip the most among all the films that were shown to us. But when I first found out that we would be watching a film about a heavy metal band, I did not expect to like it at all since I don’t really listen to heavy metal music. Little did I know that I don’t have to be a fan of metal music to enjoy this film. In fact, Heavy Trip is a film that, in contrast to our notion of heavy metal music as dark and atheistic, is actually very light and funny. But beyond its comedic quality and referential humor, Heavy Trip reflects a lot of truth in the world, which we can all learn lessons from. Certainly, the film does not just revolve around a Finnish heavy metal band wanting to become famous, it’s actually a whole lot of other things. Above all, it’s a feel-good film that I can watch over and over again.
First, it’s a film that defies norms and stereotypes. In my experience, the film defied my expectation of how it would make me feel. Similarly, I thought the main characters, also the members of Impaled Rektum, would be reckless and self-destructive human beings, but they were actually very loveable. They’re a bunch of soft, sensitive, and timid personalities who are only trying their best to achieve their dream in life. After all, who would’ve thought that a vocalist of a heavy metal band could also be caregiving for psychiatric patients? Indeed, the film teaches us to not judge something or someone so easily despite preconceived notions, because if we continue to do so, we might just become like the band’s toxic community.
This brings me to my second point, that the film is about an underdog’s tale of redemption. In their small conservative town, Impaled Rektum was looked down on. They were called Satanists and considered outcasts in the community. Given that they had long hair, they were called “homos,” which was regrettably a term used to put them down. They were praised when the people thought that they’d be going to Norway but automatically ridiculed again once the people found out this isn’t true. Thankfully, the band didn’t need their validation and acceptance to achieve their dream, which they were able to do so eventually. And this teaches us to pursue our passion no matter what other people may say. We must also learn to celebrate outcasts and embrace our identities even when it does not conform to society’s expectations. In the end, the people who try to put us down are the same ones who beg for our help when we’ve proven that we’re better than them.
Lastly, Heavy Trip is a film about trust. It’s about trusting each other and having a sense of brotherhood. It’s undeniable that they couldn’t have performed in the Northern Damnation without the help of each and every member. And this is why this film is probably the only one that I’ve watched where a corpse went crowd-surfing. It reflects their love and respect for one another that despite Jynnky’s death, his mere presence still gives them a sense of courage and fulfillment.