Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's
novel is a bizarre mix of film noir detective mystery and stoner comedy, a mix which will prove divisive with audiences, especially with its incomprehensible plot and weird collection of
Set in Los Angeles during 1970, a pot-smoking Private Eye,
Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) takes on three separate missing persons cases, all of which appear to involve his former girlfriend, and becomes embroiled in a world of
narcotics-smuggling, people trafficking, police corruption and Manson-esque cults.
The film is purposefully difficult to follow, the story of
the book making the transition to the big screen without being simplified, and while the style is beautiful to watch, with dedication to period detail and atmospheric cinematography, it feels
almost like two-and-a-half hours of a surreal drug trip.
Similarities could be made with the style of 1991's Naked
Lunch coupled with the humour of 1998's The Big Lebowski, but if you're not a fan of either of those two films, you probably won't like this either.