Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson brings us into the paranoia-filled, drug-fuelled world of Thomas Pynchon’s 1970-something LA. Staying loyal to the novel, the film grooves left and right alongside Joaquin Phoenix, as he tries to navigate his way around the absurd and surreal to solve a mysterious disappearance. Audiences have come out of the film citing it to be slow, incomprehensible and confusing. It’s taken me a while to wrap my head around it myself, but I must say that I neither agree nor disagree. Inherent Vice is ultimately a different experience, one that acknowledges cinema and genre tropes of the past, that at the end of the day, encapsulates the bewildering disorientation of the times and it’s citizens, through it’s dialogue, cinematography and plot. Inherent Vice is hard to understand – but so is so much of the world we live in. While maybe not the most ideal way to blow off some steam, maybe all we can do is sit back, light a joint and allow ourselves to embrace what we cannot, and will never, fully understand.
Have you read any of Pynchon’s novels? I never knew being trapped in an incoherent maze could be so much fun! That said, Inherent Vice is one of his weaker novels, but the film is simply excellent. So many perfect moments strung together by total, controlled incoherency. Nice capsule review!