Friday, January 23, 2015

3 Thoughts on Inherent Vice

1. It's totally bonkers - It's weird, hypnotic, hilarious and only vaguely cohesive, but somehow it made for an amazing cinematic experience. I say that because if I watched this at home, I would have hated it. The plot is extremely hard to follow, and the multiple characters all seem inconsequential if you don't pay attention. Sometimes, when I am at home, I lose focus on the movie that I'm watching in favor of the Internet, chores, playing hide and seek with my cats, etc,. So, I'm glad that I chose to watch this in the cinema and fully grasp all of the details, the humor, and the genius behind it. There's a sense that you're not really meant to grasp all of it on one viewing. There is also a sense that there are actually two different narratives unfolding, but one of them isn't actually happening (outside of Doc's head), which causes the discrepancies in characters and plot. There is just something so odd and cool about it; I walked out of the theater completely satisfied in the experience. And I laughed. A lot.

2. Joaquin Phoenix is perfect - He's just so fucking weird and cool; just like this movie. While I always recognized his talent, there has always been something inherently sad about him and I think it was a valid projection of sadness that people of my generation have towards him. I still, to this day, can't look at Joaquin and not think of River. It's impossible. Lately, though, I think Phoenix has used this sadness to his advantage (Her, The Master - both Oscar-worthy performances), mixed with these absolutely eccentric characters (this movie and I'm Still Here), proving that he's certainly a well-rounded actor. I still laugh when I think about I'm Still Here. It's one of the funniest (and weirdest) movies/performances I've ever seen (and the marketing campaign behind it is so surreal). His performance in Inherent Vice, is perfectly timed with subtle hilarity and downright absurdity.

3. PTA's filmography - While I always found something to contemplate and respect in Paul Thomas Anderson's movies, I was never a fan until There Will Be Blood (which is a rare "perfect movie"). I thought it would be the exception out of his filmography for me, but then The Master came out and I was pretty blown away by it, as well. It made me re-evaluate my thoughts on PTA, because I realized that I was probably too young to "get" Boogie Nights (I enjoyed it, mildly) and Magnolia (I loathed, with a passion). Now that PTA has impressed me three times in a row, I think these two films deserve a second chance. I mean, what if PTA is actually one of my favorite filmmakers and I didn't even realize it??? Also, if I'm being honest, I think I've always had a "fuck you" attitude about him because Fiona Apple is MY GIRL! She is my lyrical soulmate and she has admitted that some of the real, heartbreaking lyrics are about her relationship with him. I will try to push those feelings aside though, and give his earlier work a second look.

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