Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Inherent Vice: A Time Capsule with some Real Gems

So to begin Inherent Vice has a few flaws, it does but that definitely doesn't ruin it. If you can get past its slight bloated feeling you are going to find something really quite special, A period drama that feels less like a period drama and more like a perfectly preserved artefact. Cut this open it bleeds late 60's, it screams of post-masonite terror and paranoia whilst also showing cultural divides. It's a glorious piece of art.
Firstly the trailers were wrong. This isn't The Big Lebowski at all. Bits of it feel vaguely similar but it isn't. There is comedy don't get me wrong but it's not a stoner comedy mixed with crime and weirdness like Lebowski, this is sadder, it feels melancholic. It's yearning for better times and thats what makes it so remarkable and watchable even at a incredibly bloated 2 and a half hours.
The plot is pretty convuluted beginning with our vague hero Doc Sportello played by an incredible Joaquin Pheonix. Doc's ex girlfriend Shasta (she's kinda dull) turns up and tells him her current Boyfriend, a millionaire developer is going to be committed to a mental hospital by his wife Sloane and Sloane's boyfriend. However as Doc investigates the story keeps ducking and diving away from him until he meets Jenna Malone's character a newly single mum whose husband "died" she has since cleaned up her act to raise her child. However said "dead" husband is not actually dead, he's now a snitch for every organisation this side of the beach. This guy (Owen wilson) now realises his mistake and wants to get back to his daughter and wife. Meanwhile we have Chick Planet employees Tabby and Jade, a mysterious collection of dentists who are secretly fixing up heroin addicts, a teenage heiress in all sorts of trouble, an angry policeman who likes chocolate dipped bananas and to top it all off a guy with a swastika tattoo who is killing people with his gold teeth.  If you can keep up with that congratulations, If you can't don't worry, you really don't need to to enjoy this.
There are some stand out performances that really need mentioning here and that is Joaquin Pheonix, Josh Brolin and Owen Wilson. Brolin as Officer Bigfoot was a real delight. A police officer that was never given a new partner after his partner died he is now in a permanent state of anger at Doc, that could come across as tiresome but his final scene involving a glass door, a tray of drugs and lots of wincing really makes you like him. Owen Wilson is the perfect foil to Pheonix as Jenna Malone's elusive husband who simply wants to get home. Wilson really plays quite the blinder here. It really shows when he isn't too busy making cruddy by the numbers comedy he really shines through. 
It is incredibly long and yes it can get a little lost through the mid section but the ending sequences is worth your ticket price alone. This is truly a masterpiece which is soon to be a cult hit. I can just feel it.

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