Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Psychedelic dude

A Scanner Darkly
Rating 7.4

Richard Linklater (director) is known for avant garde filiming. This one reminds me of Waking Life, not because of the subject matter, but because of the filming style. It's animated in a very realistic way that I found a tad annoying. The subject matter reminds me a bit of David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch.

A Scanner Darkly is the film version of Philip K. Dick's prophetic 60's novel of the same name. It is set in California eight years in the future. A new drug called Substance D has everyone addicted, and a group of undercover detectives are trying to seek out the distributors. Reeves plays both one of those agents, and one of the addicts. He can be both without being found out, because the detectives' identity is concealed by these suits they walk around in called "scramble suits". The suits allow them to blend in with society. Reeves is torn between the two sides he is on, wondering if it's the drug that's making him think this way or society. Linklater does a wonderful job of illustrating the trippy side effects of the drug through the miracle of animation.

My favorite character was Charles Freck played by Rory Chochrane. A pitiful, paranoid addict, his thoughts are narrated and animated wonderfully. Robert Downey Jr. plays a hilarious crazy dealer who talks a mile a minute. He seems to always play similar characters.

The cast is full of other edgy risk takers, including Winona Ryder (where has she been?), Keanu Reeves, and Woody Harrelson.

If you are into freaky animation and futuristic weirdo films, you'll love this one.

1 comment:

annthelibrarian said...

This animation style is clever- for about five minutes. It made me feel like I had motion sickness. I've never been a huge fan of animation, and I was glad when this movie was over!