Fried Barry is a boldly creative film. Almost to its detriment. The story of a drug-addicted loser in South Africa who is suddenly possessed by an alien life form rages with extreme performances, precision editing, and an aggressive score a that will run most viewers off from its otherwise loose plot and breezy approach to storytelling. Rest assured that more diligent movie goers will be rewarded with a funny commentary on the dregs of mankind exemplifying the best in humans.
We meet Barry (Gary Green) as he begins any normal day, ignoring his baby mama and kid to go hang out with a buddy at the bar. The two head off and do some heroin and then something otherworldly happens. As Barry wanders home in the middle of the night he is abducted by an alien spacecraft, his body stolen, and the extra terrestrial beings use his body to infiltrate and explore mankind. The way this sequence is shot, we are never really sure if this is part of a drug trip or full-on reality. Yet for the exercise at hand it really doesn’t matter.
As a newly bug-eyed, rigid version of Barry lumbers further into the night he encounters everything the seedy underbelly of nightlife can offer. It isn’t until his girlfriend finds him again that we see a very different side of our anti-hero. Slipping easily into a domestic situation “Barry” begins to make some positive changes before running off again to explore. The film has a sort of episodic tone with characters wandering in and out of the through line making the journey more important than the destination.
Writer-director Ryan Kruger has a bigger story to tell than a mere fish-out-of-water alien tale. Through a collection of random escapades, run-ins, and moments we are treated to snapshots of humanity anchored by the oddly endearing performance by Green. Drug deals gone bad, kidnapping rescues, and reconciliation all occur out of a befuddled mirroring of humanity by an alien just trying to fit in.
Fried Barry is a fun movie, and an even better one in retrospect. Soaking in the extremities as well as the soft beats in the movie, I have to say that I am impressed with what Kruger was able to pull off. I will say that its duplicity in mixing frenetic editing and tone with a relaxed story may feel like an odd pairing. My advice is to slow down and enjoy the trip.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars
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|Runtime:||1 hr 25Mins.|