This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Paul Docherty’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
By far my favorite alcoholic movie, and my favorite movie about Scientology, or brainwashing, or alcohol-fueled fantasizing... It's a bromance, it's an odyssey of sorts, and most certainly it's a stunning piece of cinema. But I'll have to get back to you about what's it's ultimately about.
I mean, what was real and what wasn't? Did Quell dream the whole thing in a stupor, lying on that beach? Dodd was most certainly the comforting breast Quell needed, but without all the troublesome (to him) trappings of femininity (he loves first the sixteen year old girl, then the sand sculpture, then the walking mannequin, and then Dodd). Quell's arc, such as it is, is his coming to terms with women as women-not-objects, and somehow it's through his relationship with Dodd and his brainwashing that this comes to pass. I'm just not sure how. It's likely Quell was always capable of love, and his harrowing, turbulent relationship with Dodd put these things in perspective. So in a way it's a coming of age film for a manchild...?
I'm still thinking about this obviously... I'll check back in later after I've seen it again.