Synecdoche, New York (2008) Charlie Kaufman
Production Budget: $12.4 million
Gross: $2.5 million
There was a cynical chuckle I heard when Synechdoche, New York ended. A chuckle I am familiar with due to my frequent trips to the theaters. It was a chuckle as if to say “What did I get into? Boy that Charlie Kaufman is a goofball! This movie was so terrible and confusing, I missed out on NASCAR and my Everybody Loves Raymond re-runs for this. You dragged me to see this art house crap? I never passed the third grade.”
Yup, that chuckle said all that.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. Synechdote, New York is a difficult film to watch. It is like David Lynch and Richard Kelly had a love child and that love child was tripping balls. Yes, I am a pretentious douche. That being said, this is a great movie.
I will not pretend I am smarter than anyone and profess that the movie is about this or that or that I understood what this movie is all about. Frankly if anyone made that claim I would kick their ass for being a lying son of a bitch. The movie has so many layers and so many angles that I could watch it 50 times and tell you 50 different things I noticed. I didn’t really catch a clear cut moral or message Charlie Kaufman is trying to suggest and I am sure that is the reason many people will hate the movie. How many of you can watch a movie with a barely discernible plot, seemingly random story twists, and no real message to it. Hell, that is my argument to many David Lynch fans.
I guess why I like it so much is that I connected with many of the feelings of the main character. There are moments of insecurity; about life, about relationships, about love, about art, about love (again), about purpose. Its about introspection and despair and exploring your life. Its a movie you reflect on and see how it applies to you. I’m sorry if I don’t really have a plot explanation but if I did it truly would not make any sense and would not in any way represent what is really going on. I was just sitting in the theater looking at this meekish, smart, but insecure/troubled man and seeing more of myself than I really wished to admit.
This is a movie that will be ignored both in the public and when the Academy season rolls around. It is a movie too art house for the regular public and too original and good for independent film/Sundance posers. So another weekend goes by and I will be sitting around, snobbish as ever (I may even sneak in a Latte) watching Twilight rake in hundreds of millions secure in the knowledge that I and only about six other people have seen a truly great movie. Cheers.