Chalk this under the “late to the party” category, but this party was pretty dead to begin with.
When Synecdoche, New York came out in 2008 it polarized everyone, at least to my knowledge. I have to be honest, I didn’t really follow it much at the time. I knew of its premise and saw the trailer, but I approach each of Charlie Kaufman’s films with slight hesitation. I share the same feelings about his work as the general public does (Human Nature, Confessions of a Dangerous Mindwere shit…Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were great). The idea of Kaufman directing himself didn’t sweeten the deal.
Then I watched it, and this is his masterpiece. The greatest thing he’s ever done, and nobody knows it. Well, not to that extent, but this film is immensely underrated. One that I fear will not be fully appreciated until years from now. Lucky for this film, that’s my favorite category, “the underrated”. While the hipsters sit in Starbucks with their non-prescription Oliver Peoples glasses, arguing over if Eternal Sunshine or Adaptation is his greatest work, the brave few of us will be at some cheap matinee, watching Synecdoche for the 800th time. The comparisons to Fellini’s classic are sound, its our “Mumblecore8 1/2”.
The first few minutes of this film will make or break you. There’s a hump you have to get over, and once you do, just go along with it. Not unlike Enter the Void, Synedoche is a film that asks you to let yourself go. Get lost in it. There are so many layers, so many ideas being thrown at you, that its impossible being content watching it once. Its an incredibly sad film, but no wear near as depressing as people are saying. Synedoche, NY is often hilarious, and quite beautiful at times. There is so much to write and talk about with this film, that I decided to share with you a few reviews and blogs that do a better job than I ever would.