Durack’s performance and his portrayal of multiple characters. Reframing of one’s personal story in mythic terms.
What I didn't like
In it’s current form, Durack’s performance is too tender to fully sell the descent into violent retribution. Giving in to his primal instincts is played as comical and heroic, but feels disturbing and tragic.
Kyle’s character is so smart, it might have been interesting if his acts of revenge were more precise and designed to deliver comparable justice in the form of embarrassment and trauma rather than death.
The one female in the story, while embodied well by Durack, is little more than a prize to be won and doesn’t seem to bat an eye at murder.
My overall impression
Naked Man Rising features a brave performance from Kyle Durack, but suffers from tonal inconsistencies. The aspects of Kyle’s story that seem real are truly compelling and make him a sympathetic protagonist. Some of the fantastical elements are interesting and work well until we get to the Grindhouse-style revenge plot. By the time the show ends, rather than feeling that justice has been served by a disabled teenager overcoming dismissal and cruelty, a smart, sensitive boy has transformed into an unremorseful psychopath.