Swiss Army Man And The Morals It Sends

"If you don't know Jurassic Park, you don't know s---."

Swiss Army Man poster with its main characters

A homeless man is on the edge of ending his life until he finds a corpse and uses it to bring himself back by riding it like a jet ski, water bag, cannon, and lighter among other things. That is what Swiss Army Man looks like from the outside.

Upon a closer inspection of the 2016 film, the questions it asks, the life lessons it has to offer and the fart jokes that it lets out are something that resembles peak writing. Swiss Army Man is a dark comedy filled with fart jokes aimed at making the ones who pay attention wiser by the end of its viewing as it embarks them on a journey of self-discovery in the most unexpected ways.  

Be open-minded

A man being used as a puppet

As the movie progresses we learn that the corpse, Manny, has multiple powers that aid Hank, the homeless protagonist, in surviving the wilderness. At first, what seemed as taboo, soon became the norm for the characters of the film. Not only carrying around a corpse but using it for simple uses such as storing water can only be seen as a disgusting and disrespectful act. Once Hank gets over the fact that what he is doing is disturbing, the movie lets us view what Manny has to offer.

Now mirror this to real lives and ask how many things we block ourselves against just because it feels or looks unnatural and uncomfortable. It could be as simple as watching a series or a movie that has a different language or it could be applying for a position that you may think is not the most suitable to you or anyone else for that matter.

The movie tells us, again and again, to break out of that shell, go ahead and see what life has to offer if you open up those barriers you have created for yourself, the barriers that society has created for you. It is often the crazy that accomplish the impossible.  

Stop projecting

Paul Dano looking at Daniel Radcliffe in a wooden bus

Many people project their problems onto others without even realizing what they are doing. Perhaps this film can serve as an eye-opener to be more aware of the fact that sometimes the thing that you want to do may not be what you are doing.

Within the film, Hank projects his situation on Manny, making Manny believe that the problems that Hank is facing belong to him while being unaware of how he is being manipulated to play the role of a literal upper for Hank's amusement. By the end of the film once Manny realizes that every problem he has never belonged to him in the first place, he starts to question his existence and his relationship with Hank and it ends up becoming an argument between the two.

Take it with a pinch of salt, everyone has some amount of pressure or stress they are constantly dealing with, and adding your life's problem onto their plate is not going to benefit anyone. Of course, one can vent out their stress with a friend or family, but pushing on your situation onto another person does not relieve the stress for anyone and does not rid you of the problem either.

Don't take people for granted

Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe sitting on a beach

This is a simple lesson that many have either ignored or rejected completely. Whether it be a simple "borrowing" of a Netflix account from a friend or getting referred for a job, make sure to find a way to even the scales. It can be through simple acts of appreciation such as gifting them something they like or paying them back for their generosity.

Hank took Manny for granted as the "multipurpose tool guy" by using him for whatever he needed. Manny did not object as he saw Hank as a friend. However, throughout the movie, Hank did not show one sign of appreciation until the very end of the film where he stands up for his ideals of being as real as possible to a society that expects everyone to hold their real selves back as it is not considered polite or sophisticated which conveniently mirrors our real society so as to really drive in the message to its audience.

Accept yourself

A man cosplaying as a girl while another man takes a selfie with him

Last but not least, accept yourself. Even if society may not deem you or your way of life as something to be accepted, you must always be the first person who likes you for who you are. There are now 8 billion humans on this planet and there are bound to be many who will find your way of life or preferences to be against tradition or be seen as taboo, but what you may see as the world rejecting you may only be 2 or 5 percent of the entire population.

"You were probably looking for happiness. That's what everyone does."

Hank is an introvert and is revealed to be called a retard many times in his life, hence his hatred of the word. It only took the support of a corpse for the homeless protagonist to build his self-esteem back to the point where not only stands up for his friend but also for himself in front of his father and the society that is disturbed by him.

Sometimes, all it takes is that one person (or corpse) to bring you back on your feet when it feels that the entire world is pushing you down.