About Us

Contact Us



Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters


The Shape of Things
Writer/Director Neil LaBute

Rachel Weisz,
Paul Rudd
Gretchen Mol,
Frederick Weller

Mormon misanthrope Neil LaBute really turns people’s cranks and his latest film about manipulating and mischievous mortals THE SHAPE OF THINGS, a cruelly pared-down version of his own play of the same name, is no exception. Utterly cynical in its depiction of hidden motives and game-playing - and supposedly a frank and honest account of campus high jinks ( and kinkiness ) in the name of art -and stressing yet again the callous, self-serving Machiavellian basis of human relationships, the director’s latest glum gloating offering will incite more admiration than it will contempt.

LaBute has an acute gift for capturing individuals at their most bumbling and inept, or a least unguarded with all of their vulnerabilities on display. His skill at this eccentric and cold-blooded task makes your flesh crawl. THE SHAPE OF THINGS is hard to watch and stomach.-churning in the undiluted pleasure it delights in as we watch people squirm like insects pinned under a magnifying-glass. For some viewers this will be a subtle form of torture – the death of a thousand cutting remarks.…..

Four friends at Mercy College in Southern California are led into a ghastly maze of lies and indiscretions by graduate art-student and feminist activist Evelyn (Rachel Weisz). She cold-bloodedly seduces shy doofus Adam (Paul Rudd) and transforms him with his consent into a charismatic young stud. She has him submit to plastic surgery and every other imaginable type of makeover. The fresh angle that LaBute cleverly exploits in THE SHAPE OF THINGS is that instead of the usual Pygmalion/My Fair Lady female protagonist taught to join the human race properly it is a man being systematically altered to ‘enter society’. We take it for granted that the opposite sex should be moulded according to the dictates of the prevailing norms of "femininity" and seldom think twice about such everyday makeovers which women’s magazines promote constantly as being essential for happiness - as much for men’s contentment as for theirs: as desireable sex-objects who can lure men to their ‘doom’. Otherwise it is a humourless little exercise in tearing the wings off four flies systemtically.

© Alex Grant May 2003

More Reviews


© Hackwriters 2000-2003 all rights reserved