I hated this movie. I know it wants to be abstract and surreal but it comes off as obnoxious and pompous. Everyone speaks with an erudite cadence and with a "writer's" vocabulary. There are no characters or conversations in this, just flapping heads trying to be as weird as they can be often intercut with the female lead proselytizing ideology.
I have no problems with surreal, as long as there's mood and atmosphere, or some rules as to how this world works. David Lynch has talked about this, so if he says it, then that's what it is. This movie had none of that. The editing is problematic, never staying on a shot long enough to establish an uneasy atmosphere; never creating a rhythm to the film. The film lacks a clear premise, and I'm not talking narratively: what does the film want us the audience to feel? What are the motions that it wants us to go through? Again, mood and atmosphere: not here.
I've honestly never saw the great appeal with Charlie Kaufman and this entry certainly didn't persuade me otherwise. This may have even dropped him a peg lower for me because as lauded as he is for his prior work, this felt like an amateur art school film entry for a final thesis.
This is a hard pass. Can't recommend it to anybody, not even to the snobbiest, uppitiest, film connoisseur out there. This was picked up by Netflix on Kaufman's clout alone, I would imagine, as not even small art-houses would want to screen this. Had this film been made in the 60's during the New Wave boom and was in black and white, in French or Italian, then maybe this would've amounted to something. Instead, this was 2 some-odd hours of disparate single act plays hodge-podged in a string together, passed off as "surreal" to convince people this wasn't just sloppy, and it shows.
I really enjoyed the performances, the sets and general mood of weirdness. For the first half I had an uncomfortable cringy feeling, like watching Micheal in early episodes of the office. When it went full surreal I just found it weird. Surprised to see it wasn't written by Kaufman.
I stopped the movie after I wasn’t able to follow the first 30 minutes, I am usually able to watch Netflix and work on prop parts at the same time, but something was off. So I started it over again. Very late at night.
Great acting, but it was weird. Some offbeat movies are memorable and quotable (Blue Velvet), and some characters stay with you (Rusty nail in that movie I can’t remember, but the way he said ‘candy cane’ still echoes in my memory). Your mileage may vary with this one.