Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York ★★★★½

I've seen it again and while I understand it more, now that I see how beautiful the film is, I still don't believe that I know what the movie is telling me.

Even attempting to tell the plot would be confusing, because this is the kind of film that can really only be a film. It has way too much of a scope to be a play, and it relies on visuals and audio for it to be a book. The movie, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, is the life of a tortured playwright and director Caden Cotard as he plans to make a play that encapsulates all of the human truths of the world. However his life gets in the way of it, or changes it drastically.

The film is one of the most surreal films I've seen. The visuals for this movie are just insane, a bit odd maybe, but it looks like it's an entirely different world. There are many metaphors and symbols that are woven throughout the film's complex narrative, something you'll appreciate more and more on multiple viewings as you find more things in each frame. Sometimes they don't make sense, but they always make sense in a way that is relevant thematically.

The story, as I've said before, is huge. It's packed with so many things that I'm always surprised to see that the movie is actually not a 3 hour epic. It spans many years throughout and it's easy to lose track of things, but it never feels like you're lost, but it doesn't grab your hand either. It's the film that needs to be watched multiple times to be fully digested and understood. It's pretty damn moving too for a film this absurd. I didn't cry, but I felt inhuman for not doing so...but I probably will the next time I watch this (and when I don't have a cold while watching).

Caden Cotard is a character that I have yet to really understand . He is a playwright who has basically nothing in his life that is notable and tries to make a play that captures verisimilitude and the human life, something that this movie sort of tries to do as well. It makes for a really twisting story that references itself. It's sad to see Caden basically get kicked around like this by life while he's trying to do what he dreams about.

If I do have complaints, it's just that the direction by Charlie Kaufman maybe wasn't the greatest idea. The absurdities kind of gets carried away at certain points of the film without really much control. I do like that he seemed to have full control over the script, but I wish that it was just toned a little bit in some areas. It unfortunately could just become distracting at times.

Other than that, I enjoyed the film a lot more the second time around. There is a lot to grasp, but what the film contains is a heartbreaking story about the artist and the creation. It's a very metatextual film and is a very absurd one at times, but it certainly is something beautiful.

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