Art is either something that touches you or not. When you walk through an art gallery, you revel in the beauty or the ugliness of pieces. As I have stated many times before, if art produces any kind of response, it has succeeded. Death of any art form is disregard.
There are two types of people who watch this movie. The first type are the “action flick” types who need explosions and murders in every scene to be entertained. These people will not “get” this movie.
The second type are the thinkers and people that can appreciate art and the skill it takes to create. If you see a piece and know that time and effort and talent went into it, then the finished product deserves more appreciation. These thinkers will see past the “language” (f-bomb) and the absence of action sequences to the amazing artwork being shown.
Here is what I got from the storyline:
A man, caught in a monotonous existence of slight fame, seeks to seize the opportunity of a business trip to break free.
To explain what you need to “see” in this movie, I will start with the cinematography. The camera placement and movement, while being controlled in miniscule amounts, harkens a big budget film. The lighting gives you the old hotel feel and highlights the sets, which, after a few minutes, fade into the background, which is the mark of fantastic design. You don’t question the sets because they look realistic.
With all of those allocades, the summary becomes “extreme realism within a tilt shift perspective.” Wet windows, steam and gritty hotel produce something that could have been filmed live, but it became art because of the replication.
Now, onto the characters. At first, I noticed that a few of the voices sounded similar, but with a different lilt or cadence. I assumed it was because it was possibly a cut that would eventually be overdubbed, but what appeared to be a work in progress was actually part of the storyline. With the cuts on the faces, I marveled at the innovative technique. The skin painting was hyperrealistic and beautifully crafted! Even breathing and body connectivity locomotion was so well done that you get lost at times.
I will have to say that the shower scene was what threw the attention to detail over the edge. Parts of the main character’s anatomy (wink wink) moved, as in reality, fluidly and realistically. People with hypocritical eyes have complained about the “sex” scene, but, there have been far more graphic things in major movies.
I also assumed that the faces would eventually peel off to show the actors underneath, but that didn’t happen. I like the fact that my prediction didn’t come true, and indie movies attract me due to this being the norm.
The Lisa (anomalisa) character was annoying, as was the intent, so you have to give props to the actress who played the part so well. It almost sounded and appeared that the whole movie was filmed with live actors and then they overlayed the stop motion characters and sets.
Upon completion of the film, I immediately went to IMDB (horribly manipulated site) to see the reviews and was met with the two types of people. 10 star reviews and 1 star reviews. That prediction was right. Either you get it or you don’t. During the time spent on the site, I learned that this was a crowd funded movie. That fact made me like it even more. No wonder it didn’t follow the ghastly American film industry’s rules. There is no happy ending, as art reflects life, sometimes you just trudge through the day.
So, all in all, I would give this 5 stars out of 5, for a brilliant art piece.