Find us on facebook

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Synecdoche, New York", biggest paranoia ever filmed

Synecdoche, New York

Another example of a movie released years ago (the film is from 2008), that never make to Spain, due to the singular "criteria" of distributors and cinema owners of this country. But they can keep accusing everyone of piracy... End of the rant.

Is kind of surprising, but in a very positive way, that in a time were cinema is only interested in selling tickets with unnecessary remakes, bloody awful pirates and superhero movies, there's still a chance for a film like "Synecdoche, New York". A very personal view of an author, Charlie Kaufman. The man behing the scripts of some of the most risky and brave films from the last decade, like "Adaption" or "Being John Malkovich". And co-responsible, with Michael Gondry, of one of the best films ever, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".

"Synecdoche" is Kaufman's debut as director, and also his most ambitious film, in terms of conception and ideas. It builds on recurrent subject themes of his previous work, but mostly, and being a film about creating art, is easy to link it particularly with "Adaptation". But its a, staggering, XXXXXL version of that film. It might be the biggest paranoia ever filmed.

It also equals the level of pessimism of "Eternal Sunshine", maybe even goes further. Caden Cotard's (Philip Seymour Hoffman) extreme hyponcondria won't make you laugh, it is crude, and his struggle is condemned well in advance with paranoia. Humour, if any, only masks weaknesses or adds a feeling of surrealism to the lightest consequences of the monumental synecdoche that his impossible play is. Because the movie is about a play. The most realistic, and poignant, play ever made, about life and its obstacles. A play that intends to be a perfect copy of Cotard's tragic life, and the people that surrounds it.

"Synecdoche" is not an easy film, far from it. It demands patience to the spectator, and some sort of special stomach, because the majority of people that are going to expose their lives in front of our eyes, are damaged. As a film it has flaws, biggest ones in my opinion being the slow start, hard to get attracted to start, and a slight feeling of pretentiousness. But if you give a bit of credit to Kaufman, the challenge of watching the film turns into an absorbing and moving experience.

Some credit should also be given to the cast. What an stellar one! Hoffman, again, is perfect on his tortured role, and you will feel compelled by his mistakes and pains as the movie develops. At the end, Cotard's life is being showed in all honesty. And it is as imperfect as human. And surrounding him, a special credit has to be given to Samantha Morton (Hazel), the always excellent Catherine Keener (Adele) and the equally great Michelle Williams (Claire). They are essential to explain Cotard's life. And his play. And they sustain the film.

"Synecdoche" is a failed masterpiece that tries to find an answer to existence. It attempts to achieve levels of profundity unparalleled in cinema. Conclusion? Mine is that at the end, existence is what we make of it, because we have the starring role in the play that is our life. It is an exclusive role, and no one else will play it. So we better learn how to play well. Because the world, our stage, won't wait for us. It might not be the perfect film, but the risk and brave attempt of Kaufman has to be loudly praised.

SCORE: 7,25/10

No comments:

Post a Comment