In the run-up to the screening, “Excess Flesh” got a little overhyped by the crowd, me included – not least because of the description in the festival program which described it as excessively disgusting. Thus, we wagered how long it would take until things escalate, and when the first people – and maybe even us – would leave the theatre. As with many hypes, it ultimately proved to be far more harmless than we previously imagined. At least when it comes to the disgust-level. As for the movie itself: It’s now been five days since I’ve seen it, and I still don’t know what to make of it.
Honestly, I haven’t really got much to say about “Excess Flesh”. One of the very few things that really stood out was the sound design, with all the munch- and crunch- and chew-sounds, as well as the many slow motion scenes of consuming food. Both main actresses also were quite good and bold, especially Bethany Orr as Jill, who gives a very vanity-less performance. Plus there were a couple of standout scenes, like the one where Jill starts to eat and then constantly hits herself. That was quite intense. Other than that, though, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I guess it tried to put the audience into the mind of someone suffering from eating disorder as well as mental problems, but I didn’t find it particularly gripping and/or interesting. It’s further hurt by a twist at the end (which I had already suspected) where I’m not sure if all the scenes that came before actually make sense – however, unlike “Sixth Sense” where I had a similar feeling afterwards, and was proven wrong on second viewing, I have zero interest in watching it again, just to point out possible plot holes. Which brings me to my biggest complaint: The movie just dragged along, and never ever managed to really grip me. It’s a one-note idea blown up to 100 minutes, without enough meat to sustain this running time. It’s also incredibly artsy and different for the sake of being artsy and different – which, granted, is exactly what Patrick Kennelly wanted, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. Overall, I felt that the “X”-segment of the first “The ABCs of Death” did a much better job of dealing with this subject matter – and in far less screen time, at that. Ultimately, at least for me, “Excess Flesh” – in all regards, not just the level of disgust – proved to be unworthy of the hype that precedes it.