By Hrvoje Galić
“I don’t know what I just saw.”
– “Doc” Sportello
“Inherent Vice” is the 2014 film by the wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson; it is based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed postmodernist author Thomas Pynchon. Jean-François Lyotard famously defined postmodernism as an “incredulity towards metanarratives,” meaning that the narratives that gave meaning to political, ethical (etc.) concepts in the past are simply no longer credible.
In the New York Times article on Pynchon’s novel, the author says: “The private eyes of classic American noir dwell in a moral shadow land somewhere between order and anarchy, principle and pragmatism. They’re too unruly to be cops and too decent to be crooks, leaving them no natural allies on either side but attracting enemies from both.”
Pynchon is a writer who is “notoriously” reclusive; only a few photographs have been taken of him. He started publishing in the late 1950s and early 1960s and that fact is crucial for understanding “Inherent Vice”.
Anderson’s film follows that idea in the spirit of Pynchon’s novel; the film is not easily ‘digestible’, to say the least. The film seemingly follows the tradition of stoner films like “The Big Lebowski”, but it is also very different than that particular type of film.
When the viewer watches it, they should ask themselves: “Who can I ‘trust’?” The answer is – no one. Not the narrator, not the characters who even don’t trust themselves, not even the director who seems to ‘play’ with the viewer, making him believe what is not, and the other way around.
This may look stark, but it surely is not. It is what gives this film a spell-binding attraction, but also incurs the loss of popularity among the viewers. The film gained a rating of only 6.7/10 on IMDb. This article will try to present the arguments as → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema