A few days ago a few friends and I went to go and see Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice at the cinema in town. I had seen the trailer and had assumed that the film was going to be comic and maybe even a tad bizarre, but I was not totally prepared for just how bizarre it was going to be!
A drug induced smoggy atmosphere, similar to the atmosphere evoked in The Big Lebowski, pervades the entire movie and makes it a little tricky to tease out plot details that initially seem quite complex and intricate.
It feels however that the spectator is not necessarily supposed to understand everything straight away… An element of the real life confusion that the weed smoking hippie private detective called ‘Doc’ (played by the eccentrically engaging Joaqin Phoenix) feels in the film, is transferred to the audience. Every minute detail is not explained, but the narrative gradually takes shape in your mind as the film progresses and even after it has finished.
Overall, despite some initial confusion, I enjoyed the film. I feel that it would definitely benefit from a second viewing as it has the feel of a film that could gain cultish status but that is initially a little difficult to engage with.