A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry "Doc" Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon.Written by
I've read that PTA is a big Neil Young fan, and that Doc's look is based on Neil's look from the early 70's, especially the mutton chops. And while the Neil tunes frame their scenes nicely, they should not have playing on Doc's radio and in the Golden Fang lobby. See more »
[in regards to Puck Beaverton]
Is that a swastika on that man's face?
No, it isn't. That's an ancient Hindu symbol meaning "all is well". It brings good fortune, luck and well-being.
See more »
After the credits roll, the end caption is the opening inscription from Pynchon's novel, Inherent Vice: "Under the Paving-Stones, the Beach!" - Graffito, Paris, May 1968 See more »
Rhythm of the Rain
Written by John Gummoe (as John C. Gummoe)
Performed by The Cascades
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
Dense, indecipherable, whimsical, but melancholic.
Paul Thomas Anderson has gone from a perfectionist to an imperfectionist. Now he encourages incoherence and spontaneity above controlling every detail for a hyper reality and instead wants to stay closer to a documentary aesthetic. In fact, I'd argue that he's never been more Robert Altman-esque than with Inherent Vice. This is wacky, whimsical and bizarre, but ultimately deeply sad. The plot is dense, near indecipherable and hard to follow. Threads get solved without much celebration and they just lead to a bigger mess of problems. It's still enjoyable thanks to the sleek and smoky atmosphere in the production with the blend of a funkadelic soundtrack and Joanna Newsom's sultry narration. It's easy to sink into even if it isn't your scene. But it's not about sex, drugs and cults. Set in California in 1970, the time and place of Paul Thomas Anderson's birth, it's probably one of his most personal films. It evokes its era with a deep longing for it despite the pain, confusion and chaos, much as Doc longs for his ex- girlfriend.
I assumed Inherent Vice meant that there's always a dark side, but the film explains it that means nothing in this world lasts. Subsequently it becomes irrevocably melancholic despite the humour of the film. The cinematography feeds into this idea as well being shot on grainy film in a way that is arguably dying. Anderson utilises it for the best effect, but its appeal is limited, as he strips down the mise en scene and often puts actors against white walls as if it's a dress rehearsal. Unfortunately Joaquin Phoenix is a disappointment, having impressed greatly in his comeback with The Master and Her. Perhaps he's run out of juice. He tries too hard to balance light and dark and his character isn't believable enough to hold the weight of the film. However, the supporting cast is excellent, especially Josh Brolin and Joanna Newsom even if tracking their character's inner conflicts is a struggle. Inherent Vice is an intentional mess, but one with great ideas at its core if not ones that are articulated as eloquently as Anderson's previous films. A masterpiece roll can't last forever, ironically.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this