Synecdoche, New York

Charlie Kaufman,the brilliant writer of Adaptation & Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a few among many,but those two I consider essential viewing)-stands behind the camera for the first time,the result is a film I struggle to summarize into words.Currently rated a low 65% on Rotten Tomatoes,many are calling it a confusing mess,not completely untrue.

The film topples under the weight of its own ambition-packed with too many characters over a story that runs past two long decades-a continuous line of deaths (too many) and unexplained events that add up to a film aplomb with plot holes and unanswered questions.I wouldn't call it confusing despite this,but messy for sure.However,its the sheer size and grandeur of this film that elevates its core message-that life is ultimately meaningless and plagued with a deep and irremovable sense of loneliness,and all that takes place between birth and death leads to pure nothing.

Considering the merits: it makes a few compelling points,both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Samantha Morton play their lead roles extremely well (Oscar nods for both wouldn't be surprising),and is full of small bright ideas (ie the house permanently on fire,the weird psychiatrist).All of this was eclipsed by the big,troubling issues:I feel that plenty of other films have expressed the same message more effectively,with much simpler stories and fewer characters.

*If you're interested in finding out more,I highly encourage reading this.


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