Manan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Now you have nothing to love
The fragility of the male ego triggers a descent into immorality and artificiality that’s disguised as a grand operatic musical that slowly reveals itself to be an operatic tragedy that deconstructs toxic masculinity and self loathing men digging a grave for their own eventual isolation. As unsubtle as it can be, well it is a musical but the layered meanings of performance and observations on performers, that becomes a question of an artist’s self worth and impact in the face of love. This is one strange disjointed trip of highs and lows, after getting on its pace the first thirty minutes I struggled until it’s incredible final hour arrives and you witness a moral descent of a man who’s to blame for his own self destruction, and it’s all about that final scene. The final scene truly punishes the character for his actions in a fate worse than death.
The Sparks’ idiosyncratic music isn’t exactly catchy, even musical sweeps and crescendos aren’t pitched for the sake of catch ability or playing the soundtrack on repeat and I could see this going very wrong in the wrong hands but Carax directs the shit out of this. Adam Driver gives a performance that requires an actor to truly go for it, not play anything with subtlety or for pathos, and he goes for it and is the glue that holds this experience together, incredible. I really commend the people who financed this film, it is so strange and unlike that’s usually made. Seems to be a pattern with Carax films where the further we go into the film the more I start to appreciate it.