With an intellectual look into the psyche of people from all different backgrounds, whether rich and famous or seemingly anonymous, the movie takes you on an unforgettable journey. As you watch the many characters deal with their problems, ranging from the suicidal death of a loved one, or the harsh effects of fame, or drug-use as a coping mechanism, this dark world entrenched in Hollywood fills you with a sense of contempt for what is, and what may have been, in their lives had they, or those close to them, made different decisions. The movie presents an image of crumbling and destructive lives while surprising you with the idea that change is possible when you accept the truth and let it set you free.
From the very beginning of the film you are dealt a multitude of shaky camera movements. The camera is framed on a particular character or space but is constantly adjusting in the shot. This slight movement up, down, or to the side becomes frustrating for the viewer as the focus of the frame is never settled upon. It leaves your eye wandering around trying to decipher just where, and what, the camera wants you to focus upon instead of giving you the opportunity to focus on what is important, the dialogue and character interaction. The constant adjustments do let up as the film progresses but it is hard to forget as so much of the most important build up in the story is ruined by camera awkwardness.
July 24, 2009