The Final Member
The Final Member – an outrageous documentary from filmmakers Jonah Bekor and Zach Math – is cheekily strange and hilariously honest. I half expected mockumentary legend Christopher Guest to come running out at any moment.
There’s no way this documentary about the world’s lone penis museum could be real. Fortunately, it is. And, don’t be surprised if this fascinating film becomes one of your favourite docs of the new year. Not since Justin McConnell’s Skull World have I enjoyed a documentary this much. And, not since Seth Gordon’s The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters has their been wilder competition captured in a movie.
The stage is set promptly introducing movie goers to Iceland’s Phallological Museum and its founder Sigurdur “Siggi” Hjartarson. The museum contains various genitalia from different specimens, but Hjartarson hasn’t been able to obtain one from a human.
Surprisingly, Siggi has two avid donors. There’s Pall, a womanizing elderly gentleman from Iceland. And then, there’s Tom, an obsessive American who is determined to get his piece in Siggi’s museum. Even if that means parting ways with his penis before death.
There are plenty of funnies with male private parts (including Siggi’s collection of crafted woodwork and Tom’s aspiring comic book involving a superhero schlong), but The Final Member is complimentary more than anything.
Siggi, Pall, and Tom are eccentric, but the directorial duo never make these guys out to be weird lunkheads who – in turn – make the audience nervous and embarrassed. The doc is lighthearted as it addresses why male genitalia is a taboo topic along with the competition Tom builds between himself and Pall.
It’s a documentary that supports its subjects quite well given their outlandish personas. Bekor and Math get firm and mature when their doc handles more sensitive matter like the the complexes of growing old and meeting life’s inevitable deadline. Pall, in particular, is witnessing how certain parts diminish over time; bringing this very open individual into a shy state of self-awareness.
Tom, on the other hand, has a constant need for attention and is willing to go any distance to get what he wants. Although his lengths reach nutty heights, he witnesses how his upfront personality can weigh on another’s patience.
The Final Member is a sweet film that always finds a way to make you laugh. The jokes involving the main men never feel as of we’re laughing at them or any of their misfortunes. Tom’s quest for popularity is the closest anyone will come close at giggling at someone’s hobbies, but there’s a certain admittance that Tom comprehends as he welcomes the viewer into his jaunty diligence. It’s unavoidable coming from a guy who dresses his junk up as a Viking and Abraham Lincoln for a chuckle.
Anyone who labels this film as a doc that’s simply here to bare all and offer trivial information about a quirky tourist attraction is all wrong. It takes a hairy premise that will attract any movie goer’s curiosity and performs better than anyone expects. It has a loveable heart, a fantastic sense of humour, and will have you curled over for multiple reasons – especially the men who will either be laughing or wincing.