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After witnessing Macaulay Culkin’s virtuoso performance as Kevin McCallister in the series DRYVRS, Jordan King-Lacroix is left trying to figure his genius.
The application of Method acting has produced some of Cinemas most enduring performances. Be it Daniel Day-Lewis knife throwing on the set crew of Gangs of New York, or Robert de Niro driving a taxi in New York to prepare for Taxi Driver, to the extreme physical transformations of Christian Bale. All of these performances pale in comparison to the greatest piece of performance piece of our generation.
All of these performances, however, pale in comparison to the greatest performance of our generation.
I’m talking, of course, about Macaulay Culkin and his decades-long commitment to the character arc of Kevin McCallister.
Each adversity endured by Culkin since Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, has been a deliberate one. A measured approach to showcase the long-term traumatic effects of familial abandonment of a child. Powered by the severe post-traumatic stress of fending off psychotic home invaders with Rube Goldberg-esque traps, Culkin has pushed his Art far outside the passé barriers of the multiplex.
His participating in drugs, his tussles with the establishment (read: guilty ), his participation in comedy-rock band The Pizza Underground; all part of the process, all artistic choices that Culkin made.
On the surface, these appeared as cries for help, as the directionless life of a former child star gone the way of so many before him, which may also be another point that Macaulay may be subtextually commenting on, But, what is clear to see is that he has steered McCallister through the rough seas of Juvenality, as he gratingly struggled into Adulthood.
It is a hitherto unseen level of method acting. While he became the role, the character’s life became his.
It culminated this week with the first instalment of comedy series DRYVRS where Culkin finally revealed the inner workings of McCallister’s traumatised mind. 2015 Kevin McAllister is a dazed-looking man-child, married, unable to drive. His unquenchable drive to torture wrongdoers long bested has ruined his mind. He finally discusses the damage done by his parents in literally forgetting him for a family trip. Twice. The currency that Kevin McCallister has paid was his childhood, and thusly by being cheated out of those golden unfeeling years, he has surrendered his humanity. The conclusion that McCallister reaches, leaves questions. What is he? Is the personification of the failure of the Nuclear Family? a symbol of Western futility? Or perhaps, McCallister’s plight is a reminder of what happens to the little boy within us all, and the harm that can be wrought by leaving him at home every morning.
Whatever the answer, This is the story we’ve been waiting for. Culkin’s Behind the Music. Truly, it is Culkin’s magnum opus, and deservedly should serve as an unrealistic watermark for the future generations to marvel, analyse and strive to best.
But don’t take my word for it, make your own judgement: