I watched this movie primarily because of Josph Gordon-Levitt. The trailer looked interesting enough, but mostly just in that weird indie movie sorta way. When I noticed Josph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson were in it, I became intrigued enough to want to actually watch it.
Hesher follows TJ, a young boy who's mother recently died. TJ and his dad move in with his grandmother as he slowly grows distant from his father. His life is generally down at the moment, rounding off with getting super bullied at school. That's when Hesher enters his life. Hesher is the dude version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. For those of you who don't know, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is what film critics named the character that loves to show up in films with the sole purpose of influencing the main characters life. They usually have a eccentric personality, quirky and are unabashedly girly. Some examples are Kate Winslet's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Zooey Deschanel's character in (500) Days Of Summer. So the dude version would probably be eccentric, rough, and about as dudeish as you can get. Hesher is a loner. He has long greasy hair and homemade tattoos He's malnourished, smoked a boatload of cigarettes and loves fire and blowing up things. He even lives in his van and constantly rocks out to heavy metal music. And then he meets TJ.
I surprisingly loved this movie. It was odd, I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting but it wasn't that. Heshers character was crude, rude, and generally unpleasant – but I loved him. He had depth. Underneath that unpleasant outer level was someone who cared, even when he didn't want to. TJ was a boy in pain, struggling with being misunderstood and feeling cut off from life. He didn't want Hesher around and didn't particularly enjoy having him around, but Hesher still managed to change him for the better. TJ's father was struggling with trying to still be a father while he no longer wanted to put effort in life. He found Hesher very off putting, but still only got his life together because of Hesher.
Hesher's character was a little rough around the edges, but sometimes that's exactly what you need in life – rough around the edges. I'd suggest giving it a watch. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent in it and I found myself surprisingly touched by the movie.