Sound Off: Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' - Your Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
January 9, 2015
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "But if you're Doc, it may all start to get a little peculiar after that…" Now in theaters is the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice, starring Joaquin Phoenix as PI "Doc" Sportello. This stoner comedy/drama/mystery begins when Doc looks into the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend named Shasta, played by the effervescent Katherine Waterston. PTA's cast includes a bunch of other goofy characters: Josh Brolin as Bigfoot, Joanna Newsom as Sortilège, Benicio Del Toro as Smilax, even Owen Wilson, Jena Malone and Martin Short.. So how is it? One of PTA's best or did PTA get too high on his own supply? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on PTA's Inherent Vice.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!
To light this joint, I saw Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice back at the New York Film Festival (my full review) and enjoyed it, but found it way too incoherent and wacky to compliment. At least after first viewing. Honestly, I need to see it again, and again, and maybe that's the point of Paul Thomas Anderson's work - it's layered, it has more than what's on the surface, and there's so much going on that it's hard to understand upon one viewing. I admire so much of it because he is still a masterful filmmaker, and I think there's a very lax stoner-esque edge to it that is different than we've seen before. But that's a good thing. In my own opinion, it's not PTA's best work and I prefer his other films, but there is something special to it.
From our own Jeremy Kirk's review: "There is a ton to take in with Inherent Vice, so much that a single view isn’t nearly enough. That’s typically the case with PT Anderson, a filmmaker who is always trying for more than just simple storytelling. Inherent Vice is complex, at times confusing, and its triply atmosphere and general weirdness jam-packed into every scene, maybe every shot, makes for worthwhile dissection long after the movie is over. With humor and warmth Anderson delivers a detective caper with an abundance of layers and, yes, a little paranoia. But, like Doc Sportello himself, through aimlessness and, yet, an idea of clarity, Inherent Vice bounces its way to a grand, end-of-the-day victory." Go see it and tell us if you agree.
What did you think of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice? Way too wacky or is it perfect?
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