Saturday, November 30, 2013
Written, Directed, Cinematography & Edited By: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Jack Plotnick, Steve Little, Regan Burns, Mark Burnham, Alexis Dziena, Arden Myrin, Eric Judor, William Finchter, Gary Valentine, Barry Alan Levine
Dolph Springer wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, his dog, Paul. During his quest to get Paul (and his life) back, Dolph radically changes the lives of others: a pizza-delivering nymphomaniac, a jogging-addict neighbor in search of completeness, an opportunistic French-Mexican gardener, and an off-kilter pet detective. In his journey to find Paul, Dolph may lose something even more vital: his mind. I found this film to be a great disappointment, considering how much of a fan I was of the director Quentin Dupieux previous film RUBBER. Where he was able to make so much out of so little. Truly a simple premise.
Here he goes for the same strategy, but it doesn't come off as well. It always seems to be searching off of it's Initial premise. So that it comes off as episodic and a series of Interconnected skits. It might be dependent on the ideas and mindset the director has at the time. as there are loose themes but they seem to go nowhere.
Though I didn't like it. I can't deny that the director has an eye for visuals and afterwards I couldn't stop thinking about the film. Dupieux's films this far have a maddening haunting quality. As what he presents you with is challenging as cinematic language to those of us not accustomed to his particular brand. And the audience ends up struggling to get our minds completely around it.
The visuals as always are great. The film works in minutiae and is great for the story he wants to tell, but at times his style seems to lend itself to the fact that he is working on a small palate and what he might need is a larger canvas.
Dupiuex's keeps the story simple while filling it in with abstract surrealism. That is experimental in nature, but while trying to stay fresh comes off as repetitive.
He still reminds me of a comedic David Lynch with his unapologetic style. That while smooth leaves you with many questions. He refuses to answer and leaves it to you to come up with a meaning for it. Or what you choose to attach to it. Revealing more about your thought process. Though I think he has more of a sense of humor then that as so far Dupieux's work seems to be aimed more at absurd comedy.
The clear standout of the cast is William Finchter as an enigmatic best selling author. He is a character actor who has been around for awhile usually playing the villain or a bad character. Though more recently he has usually been the more memorable parts of some disappointing or low brow movies DRIVE ANGRY comes to mind.
The film is a true work of art as it is subjective and hard to explain. A lot of the film I didn't quite understand the absurdities they are never are explained not really come together.
Worse when they are acknowledged they offer no explanations. The film seeks to try to be ironic and awkward, but awkwardness in a film only works if there is a somewhat normalcy somewhere and the rest bizarre. The awkwardness doesn't exactly work. It just becomes another addition to the weirdness of the film. Which in turn makes it normal, par for the course and disappointing under the standards?