Inherent Vice ★★★★

With it's recent critical mauling I was expecting the worst. Could this truly be the day Paul Thomas Anderson made a bad movie? Am I going to sit in the theater and regret paying any money to watch it, perhaps even walk out of the theater?
Yet I am happy to report that I fail to understand any of the so called faults laid at the film.
Every new film Anderson makes is treated with overwhelming expectations. He is a director who continues to reinvent himself and continues to explore new grounds, both storywise and cinemawise.

Perhaps Vice's biggest fault is that it is not overtly complex as everything Anderson has done before. There is no big character development, neither is there a deep core that lives beneath the film.
But while it is not an epic exploration of the human condition like his earlier films, there is something differently enjoyable about Inherent Vice.

The film is not concerned about any big ideas, and Doc's investigation is neither complex nor is it the point of the film.
Anderson and the brilliant cinematography by Robert Elswit create a sort of a melancholy dream, a yearning for the past.
It is this passage of time, the change in America from the hippie 60's into the serious 70's of Nixon that is what the film is about.

Above all I fail to understand how people fail to understand or even follow the film. Anderson does in places hold information, or even give too much information, yet the interwined cases are never too complex neither are they really the true focus of the film.

While it is lacks the gravitas of his earlier epics, Inherent Vice is a funny and melancholy half dream that continues Anderson's winning streak.