For a film made by some of the most uncompromisingly creative people alive, how is this so repetitive and dull? 

I aggressively disliked this one — not because it’s a musical (a genre I love) or scored by Sparks (a band I dig) or too experimental (a style I enjoy) but because it’s so…dull. Given all the above, that seems so unlikely, but here we are!

I loved the opening 10 minutes and its closing 5, likely because these are the only stretches that feel truly unique and alive. Sure, the movie is full of deep weirdness — which, again, I should enjoy — but it’s so mostly in form and not in moment-to-moment substance. 

It’s so bloody boring despite its subject matter: the overwhelming majority of lyrics here are just one line repeated ad nauseum. Yes, I get it’s a musical, and yes, I get that repetition is key to a lot of this form. But this movie takes it to the extreme, with entire 5- and 10-minute stretches just offering the same line over and over. Again, I know this is a Sparks tactic as well, ie exploring new interpretations of a line based on tone and context, but this isn’t that: this is just straight  tedium. 

I dunno. I feel like I should be the target audience for this one. I love all the collaborators, the cast (Adam Driver is such a goddamn TALENT), and the concept, but…no.

Don’t get me wrong, as I’m thrilled this got made. Sparks finally got their long awaited movie, and they found someone equally wild to make it the way they all saw fit. I’m sure there’s a very different kind of boring version of this that could have been made, with a straightforward telling of the plot (indecipherable as it is), and I would have hated that too.

I’m glad this vision didn’t get subsumed into something normal, and I’m glad it’s in the world. It’s just very much not for me.

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