Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Inherent Vice

Here we go again. It's the Raymond Chandler thing; only this time we're thirty years on- it's 1970- and the complexity of the plot has been further curdled by a sweet influsion of marijuana smoke. Who's doing what to who? Frankly who cares? Everyone is corrupt and everyone is in cahoots, except of course for our Marlowe figure- the man who is not himself mean- in this case the perma-stoned Doc Spolito- winningly played with ridiculous mutton chop whiskers by Joaquin Phoenix.

You could allow yourself to be annoyed by the shaggy-doggedness of it all or you could lie back and take it as it blows, relishing the cameo performances by the likes of Martin Short, Owen Wilson and Josh Brolin (so deeply in character that I couldn't put a name to his face even though I'd just watched him in two back to back Coen brothers movies) and- which is really the point- luxuriate in the distillation of the tricks and manners of woozy 1970s California. As one of the bad guys says shortly before the tables are turned on him, "psychedelic!"

As for the bloody plot I suspect I could probably work it out if given time and pencils and graph paper. Besides, the Big Sleep is pretty befuddling too.
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