ByMark Dobos, writer at
Freelance journalist, eccentric writer with self destructive tendencies... Check out my photography blog over at: https://stillshootingfilm.
Mark Dobos

Another year has almost passed us, and the movie industry keeps spewing empty blockbusters in our faces while a great film seldom can be seen. Yet a true gem of motion-picture arrived on our screens in theaters this summer. Overshadowed by the mass advertisement of the big labels, this little indie movie almost sneaked us by.

I was fortunate enough to catch one of the last screenings on a dull Saturday night while wondering aimlessly in the city. It was a very pleasant surprise that restored my long lost faith in Hollywood by one steady move. It extended an arm out of the screen and slapped me out of my melancholy. It was everything a great flick has to be. It was original, artistic, filled with great characters and real human emotions. Traits that most movies lack nowadays. I mean who are we kidding, the current state of the movie industry makes Kubrick and Citizen Kane turn in their graves.

Irrational man (2015) is an indie low-budget drama both written and directed by Woody Allen. I'd like to think that the original, intended genre of motion-picture is drama, it is the one that plays out the most beautifully, leaving you with quite an experience. They can make a very profound impression. Sometimes I find myself meditating over dramas that stirred me up years ago. Human emotions and relationships are complicated, mysterious and we can all relate to them on some level. Irrational Man is exactly about this.

So the question whether a drama falls flat or not greatly depends on the actors and Joaquin Phoenix gives a mesmerising performance with his co-star Emma Stone. He really brings life into Abe, the depressed philosophy professor who lost his lust to live, making him at the same time the protagonist and the antagonist of the story. Woody Allen takes us on a rollercoaster ride of existential crisis and philosophical dilemmas with unexpected twists and turns ending in an almost satirical conclusion. He explained the main argument of the movie in a Cannes press conference.

there is reality and there are distractions from it. Reality is that we will die, our loved ones will die and all our work will disappear. Even if you are Michelangelo. To keep ourselves going we have to distract ourselves constantly thinking that our activity is important and meaningful. If Emma Stone wasn't stressed about her performance in "Irrational Man", she would be laying somewhere in beach thinking... how pointless life is..
- Woody Allen
Jamie Blackley, Emma Stone, Woody Allen
Jamie Blackley, Emma Stone, Woody Allen

I'd like to think that every movie has a meaning, that every flick was made to communicate a message, and if it is so, then the message of Irrational Man is that life has no universal meaning, and if you realise that, you will face the same indifferent depression that Abe faced, that feeling of total emptiness, the bitter taste left behind by the fact that you are but a small grain of sand in the infinite universe. But once you construct a goal for yourself, once you give your life a subjective purpose, you can distract yourself from this truth and you will be able to enjoy and benefit from the little time we spend on this world. But I might just be reading too much into it. Who knows, we arrived into very subjective territories.

Concerning the cinematography of Irrational Man, I must note the beautiful screen compositions that scream about the careful manner in which every object we see on the screen was positioned there with much attention. It can remind one of the style of Wes Anderson, of course in a more sophisticated and less art house way.

In conclusion, the Irrational Man took it's rightful place as one of the best movies of 2015, if not in the mainstream, then in my heart. I will definitely watch it again sometime and I strongly recommend it to every true movie enthusiast. To the intelligent cinema-goer who prefers a clever story over CGI effects, and real human characters over caped crusaders.

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