Twenty-nine. That’s the number of penises I counted across the 108-minute runtime of Rotting in the Sun, director Sebastián Silva’s latest movie, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. At least, I think it was 29. I might have lost count, given that, at several points, there were so many dongs in one frame that it was practically a carol of the bells—or rather, balls.
This was to be expected. If you know anything about Silva’s work as a director, you know that he trades in dense, controversial, yet hilarious dark comedies. His films have pulled big stars like Ann Dowd, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Cera into his orbit, resulting in some of their most outlandish work to date. When Rotting in the Sun was announced, keen audiences knew they’d be in for something salacious.
“Raunchy” doesn’t quite begin to describe Rotting in the Sun, nor is it a good catch-all. Yes, there is a lot of nudity. And yes, there are real sex acts fully splayed out before the camera. But the parade of phalluses is an inseparable part of Rotting in the Sun; the gratuity is part of the fun. How many times have critics been able to say that a collection of cocks has resulted in mystery and intrigue?