Day Twenty-Eight: Adaptation. (MotM 2021)

Another short post today. Running out of time and work was heavy today.

I’ll get straight down to business: Adaptation. was written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. Kaufman wrote Anomalisa and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Jonze also directed Her. Dream team? Dream team.

Like with most stories written by Kaufman, this one focuses a lot on cynicism, on trying to find meaning, on the personal relationships with others and connecting with people. Jonze is also familiar with this stuff, given Her. A big, bumbling mess of emotions, searching for self-fulfillment, and occasionally witty commentary on a whole bunch of bullshit. Adaptation. is no exception.

This is not a particularly “inviting” watch. Not quite as complex as Eternal Sunshine, I think, but it’s still something that improves when one really thinks about it. The way characters are written, how they revolve around the protagonist—what they mean to him. While not explicitly detailed, I believe I picked up some things about the way reality is presented here. Like a big sandbox of creativity, all circling back to some sort of theme or representation… it was fascinating.

Or maybe it was nothing and I’m a dumb idiot. It doesn’t really matter.

Much of this wouldn’t work if there wasn’t some sort of emotional resonance. For me, a lot of this came through the protagonist’s struggle with… uh, everything. I think what really grabbed my attention most was when the plot took an interesting turn almost two-thirds of the way through. The bizarre angle really made the end of the film more meaningful, even at the cost of realism. Said ending was where the emotional resolution comes to pass, and the results of a certain event develop a giant emotional typhoon that hits pretty harshly. It’s awesome.

For something of an “alternative” viewing for those who like a nice, messy thinker, this would be a good choice. Kind of like how I took to Eternal Sunshine, I’d like to re-watch this at some point to really get everything digested, or whatever I take from it digested. Also pretty sad. Definitely a mopey, but occasionally hopeful thing.

Final Score: 8/10

The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.

For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!

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