Aaron Hodgetts’s review published on Letterboxd:
FUUUUCK i really wanted to enjoy this but i had several issues.
I’ll start off with what was good. the performances by ALL the cast are just consistently great and really compliment the more surreal aspects of the film and make them flourish. the aspect ratio looks super nice and theres some interesting uses of lighting throughout.
the first hour or so had me super pumped and i was enjoying the progressively surreal and unsettling vibe of the film.
with all kaufman films until now i feel that they can work on two levels: firstly, they can fascinate me with their ideas and writing without properly understanding it due to its scope and creativity, and then when i get to grips with the themes and understand the writing and comprehend the ideas more thoroughly then i can really gey behind its complexity.
with this film, i felt a lot of the time, kaufman was almost writing this just for himself to understand and for others to pick up the pieces after- which isn’t a necessarily a bad sentiment. plenty of directors, whom i love, have made careers from this sentiment (david lynch, harmony korine, paul thomas anderson etc.) however, i felt a lot of this films runtime was spent with me almost pleading for kaufman to throw me some clues to at least have some inkling of understanding whilst enjoying what i didnt understand. but there felt like none.
what was first an enjoyable film, regardless of what i didnt understand, became a frustrating and self indulgent mission to provoke video essays and reviews asking for its meaning. it didnt make for an entirely enjoyable first watch, and discouraged me from watching again rather than pulling me in to further understand its more obscured meanings.
i guess it was just a miss, and i really love the work of kaufman so it hurts to say that man.