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Inherent Vice - Film Review

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by Elysia Tsangarides (subscribe)
Writer, editor, marketer, book lover, foodie and believer that life shouldn't be anything but extraordinary. with-a-little-el.tumblr.com/ au.linkedin.com/pub/elysia-tsangarides/29/73a/761
Published March 3rd 2015
Set in 1970, Inherent Vice is combination of conspiracy and comedy with an underpinning love story, blurring the boundaries of realism and hallucination - taking you on one big trip!

A film adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel, Inherent Vice showcases a huge cast intertwined and all somehow connected to The Golden Fang, a corrupt organisation somehow managing to screw up the day to day lives of the good guys and drawing in Doc's 'one that got away' Shasta Fay Hepworth.



Starring Jaoquin Pheonix as Doc Sportello, a doper, Jesus-sandal-wearing private investigator who operates out of a doctor's office in Los Angeles and is on a mission to solve the disappearance of his lost love Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston). Jaoquin's physical comedy in this film is unexpected and really interesting to watch - it adds a great element to the film.

Inherent Vice's all star cast includes Martin Short, Reece Whitherspoon, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Maya Rudolph, Jena Malone and many mroe. Some of which feel as though they're just dropping in and out of the storyline, but each add something unique to the film.

inherent vice, jaoquin pheonix, paul thomas anderson, film review, 1970s
Inherent Vice delivers an all star cast


The film opens with beautiful narration by Joanna Newsom which sets the tone for the film and makes you want to be enveloped in such well written descriptons. While some might think narration is a no-no in film, director Paul Thomas Anderson commented he threw that theory out the window and allowed this theatrical element to really add to the film adaptation of a very intricate novel.

"The logic becomes the chaos and the chaos becomes the logic", said Jenna Malone about the making of each scene. And that's very true of this film, chaos and logic are the dancing smoke streaming from the reefer.

But there's nothing quite like watching Josh Brolin as the hippie hating Big Foot 'with that little evil twinkle in his eye that says civil rights violations', deep throat a chocolate coated banana has the whole cinema in stitches.

Brolin has described the film as 'Like sitting down, taking a massive bong hit and watching Chinatown. It's a fun movie if you allow yourself to just let it go and watch an amazing amalgamation of scenes and characters and then if you want to get into it, there's actually a labyrinth to follow.' And I tend to agree with him. It's the kind of film you don't want to take too seriously. Walking out of the film, my boyfriend said - I just didn't get it. I'd advise viewers to just take it as you see it and allow the film to wash over you to truly enjoy it.

inherent vice, jaoquin pheonix, paul thomas anderson, film review, 1970s
Jaoquin Pheonix's physical comedy in Inherent Vice is fabulous!


Exploring themes of paranoia, espcapism and ofcourse love with hilarious elements of slapstick comedy you just don't see coming and for a milisecond, can't believe they actually made it into the film - until your laughter reflexes kick in and you see how perfectly they work in this film.

Inherent Vice is in cinemas around Australia from 12 March 2015.

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*Elysia Tsangarides was invited as a guest
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Why? Great film!
Where: In cinemas
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