Heavy Trip

The seniors ended this rollercoaster of a class with a screening of Heavy Trip (2018), a Finnish comedy about a death metal band called “Impaled Rektum”, and their journey to their first gig in 12 years. I’m kind of relieved with this choice because the movie really gave me a good laugh despite the sometimes cringe-worthy or obscure jokes. The plot of the movie is familiar and it came off a little formulaic at times, but the lovable characters makes the film worth watching. The delivery was just so wacky and dorky that I had no choice but root for them.

I don’t have a lot of knowledge nor do I appreciate heavy metal music at all, but the film gave me a different perspective on the topic. Heavy metal was completely foreign to me, sort of a door I didn’t want to open even. I kind of have accepted the fact that I would never enjoy anything about the intimidating genre. But the film succeeds in enlightening the audience about the workings of this particular subculture, and presents us with a group of people that is often misunderstood and made fun of. The characters’ reverence towards heavy metal is also striking, the scenes showing how passionate they are with what they do. In this way, the music is made accessible through the experiences of our protagonists, but it is never watered down or desecrated by cheap attacks at the genre.

What I really enjoyed about the film was the lightness with which the band’s journey was portrayed. We all knew what was at stake, we have an idea about the circumstances of all the band members, but the movie was presented in a very comedic and dorky tone that their plights seem to dissipate. The fact that they were underdogs, a band of misfits and outcasts who had a penchant for this one thing despite the different struggles that they face each day, make them all the more appealing and worthy of the audience’s support.

I’m glad the class ended with a film as light-hearted, funny, and inspiring as Heavy Trip. Given all of the films that we have watched, it’s nice to finish with something we’re familiar with, however obscure and inaccessible the medium it presents itself in is. In this way, the film sort of mimics our European Film class. With each film screening, we’re presented with something different and difficult, each viewing bringing something new and innovative to the table. But behind all of these stylistic elements is a universal human experience that is captured by the film.

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