A Different Man Review

A Different Man
A Different Man
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A Different Man defies genre classification. You may say the movie is a psychological thriller or perhaps a dramatic satire but I prefer to think of it as a sick little joke of a film, and this should be taken as a compliment. In both Charlie Kaufman’s style and Franz Kafka’s tradition, Schimberg the writer/director transforms it into an acerbic, dark comedy that is unsparing in its critique of our obsession with physical beauty, the fine line between portrayal and exploitation, and how jealousy can drive one insane acting-wise holding on Sebastian Stan And Adam Pearson.

The biggest problem with A Different Man though is that it takes forever for it to get to that examination. The introduction of Stan’s character Edward who is an aspiring actor with facial deformities living alone in his depressing apartment; there is even a hole in the ceiling which has not been repaired for ages representing his own lack of self-care. However, even when Stan feels like such hard work then he becomes Stanley himself: This guy looks completely different from what we are used to due to those great prosthetics that cover his face but also because he moves differently now being slouched over all time carrying himself as if burdened by his condition.

However, Stan on several occasions changed form during the scenes unlike others when an experimental treatment succeeds in eliminating tumors that make his face bulge outwards. Finally, Edward undergoes skin shedding arising from physical implementational success where as he emerges from metamorphic experience into Sebastian Stan’s lovely handsomeness after all those years denying him life chances among other things. Yet even more than this during one turning point involving Oswald played by Adam Pearson A Different Man comes into focus.

Oswald has neurofibromatosis just like Edward previously had along with being a talented charmer having all talents coveted by Edward thereby creating envious fixations laced with bitter sarcasm. Meanwhile, at some point, everything seems so funny, especially when you see him stroll around totally unmindful of his face and what it could mean to Edward’s nastiness at times or anything else. So just as Oswald is utterly charming and can wrap anyone who comes into contact with him around his fingers, there’s something more going on in Pearson’s portrayal.

He seems so perfect and oblivious to the way Edward hates him that one might think he is a bit smug if she was to be seen in Stan’s shoes only. Stan and Pearson’s roles complement each other perfectly as their unrequited rivalry darkens up over time due to a drama created by Ingrid (Renate Reinsve), one of its few bright spots, for her.

Moreover, some of the bleakest humor lines ever spoken in this film, are uttered by Renate Reinseve, which brings out the movie’s most dubious moral questions regarding art; fetishism as well as exploitation. The script has an element of surprise all throughout that makes it occasionally seem implausible but overall keeps us engaged up until the last act where not all questions raised have been answered- which is part of its beauty

A Different Man, however, is not interested in tying up loose ends or explaining how we should feel about the strange occurrences that unfold later. The smart writing and Stan’s brooding performance make it difficult for you to say whether you will pity Edward in the end or fear him, whether his dream of “a different man” had any prospect or not – which is exactly what they aimed at.


Although it takes a while to get there, A Different Man eventually turns into an unyielding exploration of our disguises and our ability to truly change who we are. Schimberg’s convoluted screenplay is enhanced by Sebastian Stan and Adam Pearson’s exceptional performances as they share an uneven rivalry. Sometimes tragic, others gory-funny, this film poses more than a few questions but does not apologize for its unanswered ones.

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