There are a multitude of reasons why people do not get along but if there is one commonality I believe we all share is this… assholes live amongst us. Individuals who we not just overall disagree with but also have the ability to invoke such an inner disgust that we simply cannot disregard it. Documentarian John Walker has decided to open up the topic of “the asshole” by adapting author Aaron James’ 2012 book Assholes: A Theory. This review is solely based on Walker’s film and has no attachment to James’ book.
The idea of “the asshole” is the overall theme to the film and how that mentality is not only carried down through certain circles but also detrimental to how our world is being run. As the film states “There’s a teeming asshole ecosystem” which is also a quote from the author who appears throughout the film along with notable comedian John Cleese (Monty Python). The film covers topics such as the military, fraternities, our financial and political systems and the effects it has on society. There are a number of interviews with individuals discussing their theories on “assholism” which mostly surround the attitude that the individual is above everyone else for a number of different reasons: wealth, personal looks or profession. After a while the film feels repetitive with the same sentiments being shared by different interviewees.
The film does take more focus surrounding the story of Vladimir Luxuria, Italy’s first transgender Member of Parliament. The idea of “the asshole” in this situation is more focused on the more commonly known internet “troll” making inappropriate comments on social media concerning Luxuria’s identity and people who could not handle her role in politics. This idea also spreads out to those in power who feel they have an entitlement over others to do as they wish; a toxic attitude that can result in dire consequences for countries being ran by these individuals. It is also that same swagger that many in the financial industry carry because they have no care for what opens outside their personal bubble. Unfortunately we fall upon a conclusion that seems inevitable… assholes are in every facet of our society and it is dark reality that people like this exist. If there is one take away, it is in the comfort of knowing we’re not assholes… well to an extent and if you truly are one then I say “what’s up asshole?”
2 out of 5
Follow the Film: