Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York ★★★★★

The lore goes that Sony Pictures approached Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze to make a horror movie. The product is easily the greatest film of the 21st century. Period. But it isn't a horror story on haunted houses, masked psycopaths, aliens or even ghosts. It was on a horror around and within us; life

A painfully destructive and challenging drama, Synechdoche New York is a film filled to the brim with extremely subtle details and larger-than-life themes. The film, like it's protagonist, is obsessed with death and life. It's realising that time is slipping through your fingers and you are helpless to it. It's dying realising you have never achieved anything you've dreamt about. It's dying realising no one has ever seen your true self and no one ever will. It's realising no one will remember you and no one will even bother to. It's accepting the fact that we will die, and we simply cannot stop that. Whatever we do for someone, something or for some cause will fade into obscurity and we will simply be...gone.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the titular Caden Cotard, has afixed his mind to one goal; to make a play that is absolutely truthful, honest and real. A play as truthful as life. Yet he comes short of it because life can never be understood.

This film is meticulously layered and is worthy of a dissertation, by breaking down the metaphors, character arcs, names, places and especially the ending. It's darkly funny, extravagant, extremely ambitious and dangerously pessimistic. This is a movie that can be watched an umpteen number of times and there's always something to pick up whatever you oversaw the last time. There are some aspects that are better seen than said, especially the passage of time in the movie.

The score by Jon Brion is melancholic and symphonic, littered with hints of happiness. The dialogue can also be interpreted in many contexts, which baffled me the most. The performances were beautiful and subtle especially from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, the cinematography was suitable, the set designs are sombre and depressing and the direction from Charlie Kaufman is precise and straightforward.

I highly recommend everyone to watch this although it will feel pretty pretentious and tedious (case in point: me) but with further watchings, you will get a better picture. The film is ambiguous and it's appropriate because you simply cannot decipher this film in its entirety. This will leave an impact on you. For better. Not worse.

Time's running out. Better use it.

Larry liked these reviews