An absurdist cartoon with a psychedelic style, “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” tells the story of Dash (Jason Schwartzman), an arrogant and insecure high school sophomore. The film is directed by graphic novelist Dash Shaw and marks Shaw’s first feature-length film. Starring Schwartzman, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, Lena Dunham and Susan Sarandon, this very original film is a fast-paced adventure filled with laugh-out-loud and cringe-worthy moments. The film’s aesthetic emphasizes the chaotic high school experience.
The comic illustration style is the most exciting part of the film. Shaw’s intriguing design appears like a combination of the “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” comics and the HBO series “The Life and Times of Tim.” However, “My Entire High School” is a comedy that — while not nearly as complex in its comedy as the other projects mentioned — has an impressive array of events and animation that make for a memorable experience.
Like most high school stories, the film starts out with Dash and his best friend Assaf (Watts) going to school on their first day of sophomore year. The two immediately fight due to Dash’s obnoxious, self-absorbed personality — as well as his jealousy towards his friend’s newfound romance with Verti (Rudolph).
While searching for the next big scoop for the school newspaper, Dash learns that the new school building is not built to withstand an earthquake. The school ignores Dash’s warnings and soon is affected by a hurricane — at which point, the building really does start slipping into the sea. Chaos soon erupts in the school as as students and faculty attempt to survive in the sinking building.
“My Entire High School” progresses rapidly and the story can be difficult to keep up with, but it is a noteworthy experience. Filled with ludicrous takes on high school dynamics in animated action with vibrant colors and striking patterns, the film is definitely unforgettable. If off-kilter, fast-paced animation is your style, then the film is worth your while.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” will be released in theaters on Friday, April 14.
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