Guy Trilby is a dick. He is not, however, an idiot. Guy (Jason Bateman) finds a loophole in the spelling bee rules and enters himself, a forty year old man, with a plan to crush the competition. Not only is Trilby good at spelling, he’s really good with insulting words. Guy Trilby’s subversive character is somehow charming at the same time. Perhaps it’s his other half in the film that really sells the film though.
Rohan Chand is really the star of this film. He plays the young Chaitanya Chopra. But don’t worry, his name is not that important since Guy calls him every name in the book except his own. But the kid is unfazed. His charisma is so addicting I wanted to reach through the screen and hug the guy myself.
The two form an unlikely relationship that resembles a father-son relationship. Even though the real father is present in the film, he serves as more of a catalyst of these two joining forces for fun. Bateman’s character has a deep-rooted reason for joining the spelling bee, which is intended to show his heart. I’m not so sure it did that. Yes, it did serve to show that he’s not as cold-hearted and evil as he plays the whole time, but not much more.
This was a different character for Bateman, playing a bad guy of sorts. It worked for him. His former characters, aka himself, were becoming stale. I can see why Bateman jumped on a project like this one. Bad Words will be playing in a theatre near you soon and I would still suggest seeing it for a laugh or two. Honestly, without Rohan as the sidekick in this film it would have played just like another Jason Bateman film. He may have discovered a way to renew his career here!
by Angela Davis