Most discordant mess I’ve seen in a long time, and I watch a lot of movies.
This is going to skew negatively. I feel a tinge of anger, but mostly confusion. Was this what Pynchon meant to convey, or Paul Thomas Anderson? Or neither?
Something put me off this story of the hippie detective. I should have gravitated toward it, with elements of the death of the 60s, COINTELPRO, massive drug conspiracies and nods to psychedelic culture. But instead it really kept me at a distance and felt truly wrong on multiple levels, from the music to the choice of cuts.
More than a few times you have to wonder what the hell is going on, and why? While the characters resonate at times, they also fall flat and awkward at others. Sometimes the dialogue flows, but later it feels strained and artificial. Inconsistency seems to be the intent and not just an accidental byproduct.
Must say I find Paul Thomas Anderson’s career to be just as unreliable. Boogie Nights worked magic from porn while Magnolia was pretentious gobbledygook. There Will Be Blood was focused and poignant, while The Master was a disheveled snore.
Many of his films have a common denominator, that being drugs. Is that the obvious answer? Well is it?
I cannot recommend Inherent Vice.