From a long way off, looks like a fly.
The polarized reception of this movie is pretty fascinating. I’ve seen some friends lauding it as an urgent, necessary indictment of our times and others lambasting it as a piece of garbage with no artistic merit and nothing of substance to say. For several reasons, this is a purposefully hard film to pin down, which might account for why it’s getting such a polarized reaction. Please forgive me, therefore, as I dust off my Ph.D. diploma and throw some theory…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Like Heaven Knows What, this is riveting, immersive filmmaking. The gritty influence of Cassavetes is still very strong here, but it also transforms itself into a dark, phantasmagorical comedy — something akin to After Hours.
I found the structure of the film to be particularly interesting. We open on Nick (Ben Safdie) meeting with a psychiatrist. He clearly has a mental disability of some kind. Then his brother Connie (Robert Pattinson) pulls him out of the session and the next…