Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 2006) [5]
Let's make this review short and sweet: I just never really got into this. The rotoscoping enhances the cloud of paranoia that encircles the film really well, and the ideas brought up (drug addiction, government surveillance, paranoia, the loss of the self) are all interesting but somehow that didn't translate into a coherent work for me. The one theme that keeps popping up when thinking about this film is Foucault's writings on the penopticon and the power of self-surveillance. One of the main themes of the film is that everybody is watching everybody, but for those who didn't take literary theory, it doesn't mean that much. I felt the performances, with the exception of Robert Downey Jr., were pretty much lackluster. My main problem stems from the fact that there's not much here in terms of images or performances that manage to stick in my mind. Now Linklater may have purposely done this, keeping everything so matter of fact, and it does work in regards to the world of the film and what Philip K. Dick was attempting to get across. But for the film as a whole, it seems to mirror its main characters in a foggy, deadened state.

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