Ted K places the viewer next to Ted Kaczynski, infamously known as the “Unabomber”. Portrayed with the utmost commitment by Sharlto Copley (Elysium, Hardcore Henry), Kaczynski expresses distain for a lot of outsider elements that have pushed him towards living off the grid in Montana. The film is narrated by lifted passages from his writing, and the film prides itself on shooting in the same area Ted secluded himself to.
I appreciated Tony Stone’s movie to a degree, and then it really started to gnaw on my patience. Ted K creates such a realistic experience that offers viewers an unapologetic perspective from someone slowly losing touch with reality. But, a small slice of that experience goes a long way, and Stone’s movie is two hours. The activities shown in Ted K range from Kaczynski blending in within his community to more elaborate plans that expose his anarchic qualities. But, much like the Mark David Chapman biopic Chapter 27, the film doesn’t enlighten the audience and, instead, gambles with the audience by placing all of its chips on a lead performance. Copley, adding another eccentric and enigmatic performance to his career, shows his expertise for character work, but his performance is all surface-level portrayal due to the film’s aggressive approach.
Ted K reminded me of 2020’s Ash, a fascinating and very challenging Canadian character study also based on a true story of someone being swallowed up by their own problematic curiosities. Both movies involve the audience in different ways, but Ash finds more longevity because it wants to work with movie goers rather than test them, as Ted K does to an exhausting extent.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie