based’s review published on Letterboxd:
it wasn't anything
incomplete thoughts, because I'm tired and distracted, but here are some ways that I'd like to define this film: still the best, undeniably coppola's masterpiece, my favourite film, a blueprint of what cinema should be, so on and so forth. being unable to understand the world around you, you chose to fight it instead: of course this film is about everything fleeting ("time is a funny thing", per se), it's hardly there at all. it's difficult to funnel this film into words because it's so inherently cinematic. it works on so many levels as a stylistic maelstrom, every trick in the book striking like a splash against a blank canvas, the film seemingly rising out of the icy abyss and wavering between being and non-being. smoke stuck caping around the corner of the screen, the light of the film, purely plasmatic, obscuring and reverting figures and spaces as equally dreamlike and untouchable. architecturally, building from german expressionism, the characters, silent brooding models, climb around crooked shadowy surfaces grasping for shimmering light.
drunken youthful anger, belligerence, heartache wider than a canyon, holding reverb, lit by thunder. time doesn't stop in this film - no one says hello or goodbye, characters fade in and out of settings, disappear from or take the reigns of the story. rusty james is fucked up - he's grasping for light, climbing around shadows, as much a miscast player as his brother in his father's words. he wants to be like the motorcycle boy, the figure, unreal and mythic, but he doesn't see that he already is. both are barreling towards some sort of chaos, some end point, or thrashing in purgatory in hopes to escape, unable to find anything to make a life out of. everyone's caught adrift, spatially and temporally, until the ending, the motorcycle boy's death, when that drift becomes properly pronounced and is revealed to be the film's whole sense of being rather than a perspective. purgatory was all this life, the small town, the broken family, the illness, anger, and mystery could have afforded. it's the ending, positing that rusty james is finally inside the image of his brother, but with no mythos, no grandeur or weight; only the cold sea air and silence. there's always going to be something soothing about that - that an ending, inherently, cannot be shaped in definition or lead to, only found.