True Story, 2015

© Fox Searchlight Pictures

Don’t get me wrong, or get me wrong, get me any way you like. Anyway, rookie film director Rupert Goold directs his debut picture like taking that first drag off that spliff. The throat chokes up, the lungs protest but you fight yourself to keep holy smoke in for as long as possible. The mouth is completely bitter and it seems the air you breath has also somehow become acerbic.
Then comes the mist, the brain starts to shrink and everything around you gets extremely compelling, desiring to be looked at. The brain fogs up a little more; you sit back and wait for your turn and while waiting to get zooted again, you let your mind take you anyplace it wants (now, that is a dangerous proposition). It could take you to a dark place, straight into proscribed territory and where forbidden knowledge is no more denied, it could also take you inside things, objects, tangible, intangible; it doesn’t matter, like how it doesn’t matter in the ultra-violent live-action manga, Gantz, 2010 and how that Black Sphere in the Tokyo Room bends reality to its own whim, using the Hunt System interface.
And if consumed while watching a film, it can mould the viewer’s independent grunge, pull off a McCray and become a part of the picture, the cast, the crew, even perhaps whisper some ideas into the director’s ears.
You then try to get out, after the third Bogart because this shit just took a detour in to Silent Hill‘s ass. You try and lift yourself by pushing on the hand rests and rise, the weight is like that of a 100 men, but you need to get out, lift yourself and make sure to close the door behind you, forever.
You run to get water or start a conversation about child killers, I mean you’ve just returned from a distressing trip (where you went in too deep) or are trying to jump the wall into less harrowing territory, therefore matters like the one brought up by our pot-head are simply a matter of receding impulses.

On the other hand, you can sit back and tell the son of a bitch to take you places that aren’t necessarily happy, or even close to a hint of joy but just stay away from the dark matter, for fuck’s sake, just stay away from the ‘Black Sphere’. 

That’s a catch-22, because in both situations you are telling the mind, the heart, since the brain has become the size of a walnut; and that, boys and girls, is voluntary manslaughter in so many analogous panorama. 

Then you consume some more weed, (since the heart knows now) and watch (try very hard to register each thought) closely, why you took different paths each time. Sometimes the answer lies in the bounds of the prescription pariah, sometimes it doesn’t and yet at other times it lies to you; you lie in limbo, being lied to.  

Another toke and a wink takes away all the attention away from the world to just that gesture. Have you kept fucking with yourself for the past so many years since you first passed down the joint? Or has it been chaotic enough to construct a world of its own; something you hold on to, dearly. Almost as if you couldn’t see life itself for what it is, in all its glory and the depths of depravity, without a little push, maybe.   

With brilliant and exclusive shot-frame maneuvering and a pristine white set on a collision course with the contrasting sun rays bouncing of the dusty mahogany cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi (Out of the Furnance, 2013), makes this film very pretty and clean to look at. The screenplay is tight as a corset, yet seducing you in so many tribunal ways. James Franco is stoned throughout but the character needs that look so bad it could tear a locomotive to pieces. Jonah Hill is not self-conscious despite serious accolades for past performances and he does a great job as Michael Finkel, supported by critical performances. Even though the chemistry between the two is established way later, almost when the film is about to end. 

With as harrowing a subject as this, the film has got me thinking and the conclusion lies in the very few last minutes of the film, almost like an epilogue. One look into Franco’s half-shut, reefer-king eyes and you know that the fucker is up to something, again. 

Yeah. Gonna torch one up right away.

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9 thoughts on “True Story, 2015

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