Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, and Martin Short.
Synopsis is here:
I don’t know where to start or what to say. Inherent Vice; Paul Thomas Anderson’s seventh feature film, is scuzzy, meandering and near meaningless. It’s a shaggy dog story, which is even less accessible than Anderson’s previous film; The Master (2012), which had many screaming in maddening frustration. I say this as if I had an issue with the film. I write those words as if I had hated my time I spent with Doc Sportello and the gang of misfits we’re introduced to.
I didn’t hate Inherent Vice. If anything I may have already found my first
If anyone was going to create a rambling,
It may be a cop out to say this, but Inherent Vice is a film about mood and character rather than story. It's a film dictated by its time and location as opposed to anything else. A world of mumble mouthed hippies, jive talkers and dopers, whose time is spent stumbling around looking for what they've lost. Plot
“We blew it” was the hotly contested line of 1969’s Easy Rider. Often considered as a remark that hints at the end of the counterculture lifestyle enjoyed by Billy and Wyatt. Vice often feels like we’re watching the walking dead of that culture, looking to soak up any remnants that may exist. Doc (yet another superlative Joaquin Phoenix performance) appears to be taking case after case to fuel his drug habit more than anything else. Yet the real drive of the story
Younger, alleged film writers like myself can only really dream of this era, but the way Anderson and cinematographer Robert Elswit capture the sun kissed beaches, creepy upscale asylums and run down brothels is so remarkably textured and authentic that it makes a strong impression. Yet despite its lazy, slightly woozy surroundings, a strong element of farce and slapstick often pervades and punctuates scenes. Much Like Elliott Gould in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973), Doc is a private eye whose street smarts give him high cultural currency, yet his cluelessness about just how the strings of his cases are being pulled, allowing a large amount of comedy at his expense. For a film which is often at times highly melancholic, in a genre that was always considered to be grim, it’s refreshing to see just how often Anderson (a big SNL fan) goes for hard laughs. Gleefully aiming at the sheer preposterous of it all.
Despite the talk of the film’s murky and multiple plot lines, I found the main intentions of the film to be abundantly clear (in my eyes). Of course, while the actual message of the film lie within the eye of the beholder, I feel it’s safe to say Inherent Vice is a wistful film about loss. Every character is found wanting and chasing for something that either no longer open to them or disappearing in front of their eyes. Like all of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest period of films, Inherent Vice has its director peering into both the deaths and beginnings of eras and revolutions and observing the fallout through their failed relationships. Vice is not only is the most nostalgic of Anderson’s recent