A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly ★★★

A Scanner Darkly exists to impress, and I do appreciate how the roto/painted look constantly itches and swirls; it's indicative of a fluid reality you can't quite firm your attention to--I feel this often when I am high--however looking at the subject matter in the way that it is told means I can't quite connect to its themes as well as I did while reading Philip K. Dick's excellent source material. Its wild sci-fi ideas were so well integrated into the 1970s as its setting, and I feel like while the film's visual style makes it easier to portray mental illnesses like paranoia, it's also this brand of magical realism that, for me at least, de-empathizes the role the futuristic technology plays into Keanu Reeve's mental decline. Sure, it's there, but hey I just had a slightly different read on this story and that's perfectly ok! Not sure I loved the casting in this either.