Reverse Parking

Posted in film by deflowerd on January 28, 2008

I’m reviewing Paranoid Park, the latest film from Gus Van Sant. It doesn’t appear to have a release date set for Australia yet, so don’t expect to see this in cinemas any time soon.

The plot synopsis on IMDb tells us ‘ A teenage skateboarder’s life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.’ This movie has teenage skateboarders, and it has an accidental death, but by no means is it about those things. I’m not entirely sure what this movie was supposed to make me feel, really. It was told in a non-linear manner, ala 21 Grams, Babel, Pulp Fiction etc, but there seemed to be absolutely no reasoning behind this. This cinematic storytelling device can be used to good effect – see all 3 films I just mentioned – but here, it was just confusing.

The pacing was slow and confusing, the direction was self-indulgent, and the characters were cardboard cutouts. The camera focused on the faces of the actors so much that you’d think some emotion would come across, but everytime there was another fucking slow-motion close-up, their face was absolutely blank.

The cinematography was pretty, and the score was interesting and made for an odd atmosphere, but that’s about all I can say about this movie. The story was not interesting or gripping, which is a strange thing to say about a murder-mystery, and the performances were delivered as if the actors were on valium. Or sleeping pills. Or anti-anxiety pills. Or a deadly cocktail of all three. I’m looking at you, Heath.*

This film was just so… meh. It lulled you into relaxation, but at no point did it offer what I’d call entertainment. Soz, Gus.


* But seriously, R.I.P Heath Ledger. He was a talented actor and seemed like a good guy. You will be missed.

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