Tuesday, 29 November 2016

'Paterson' Review


Every once in a while, there will be a film that gains huge critical acclaim that I just don't understand why. Jim Jarmusch's latest film 'Paterson' is the latest film that has given me this feeling.


Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver who likes to write poetry in his spare time. The film shows his life in one week as he writes stories whilst dealing with day to day life.

'Paterson' currently sits at an astonishing 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. At this moment, it is higher than the likes of 'Se7en', 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Pulp Fiction' just to name a few. This shows how mad the critics are going for this film, holding it in such high regard, with many calling it one of, if not the best film of the year. I feel as if I have watched a completely different film as I did not get this feeling whatsoever.

'Paterson' is an incredibly dull, uneventful film which I can't get my head around. The film follows Adam Driver's character Paterson going through his week with nothing really extravagant happening. That's seven days when nothing really that interesting is happening. In fact, the film feels incredibly repetitive due to this as he mainly does the same thing with the same outcome. There isn't much that is different throughout the days which makes the film ultimately fairly boring. We see Paterson wake up, write a poem, drive his bus, go home, have small chat, take his dog out and go to a bar multiple times. There isn't anything that differentiates any of these events which made the film drag.

The main problem I feel for this film is that it seems to be doing many things on purpose but there is no payoff. The film includes many details like the use and appearance of twins throughout the movie which you expect to be a key part of the story. Paterson's girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) has an obsession with redecorating and taking up new skills. This could be a perfectly interesting quirky character, however, the film does not give her enough screen time and refers back to the boring character Paterson. The film ultimately lacks a story and due to this, nothing seems to come up with these blatant constant inclusions. To me, this just came off as pretentious as it ultimately didn't lead to anything.  The lack of a story doesn't really allow the film to progress and it doesn't. Don't get me wrong, there are tid bits that are quite entertaining and even humorous at times. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough for this to be a worthwhile watch.

Adam Driver has been getting a whole bunch of praise for his work in this film. Again, people have been saying that it's one of the best performances of the year. Driver is completely one note throughout this whole film as he is soft-spoken throughout the whole film showing very little change in emotion. Driver isn't bad in the film but I do not see what is so amazing about his performance at all. He isn't doing anything exquisite or really that impressive to deserve this high praise. Driver is just playing a normal down to earth person, which he seems to be off-screen anyway. To me, it just didn't seem that impressive. In fact, the film's best performer for me seemed to be from William Jackson Harper and Chasten Harmon as the on-off couple Everett and Marie . The two worked fantastically well together, bringing some true character to the film and some entertaining and funny scenes.

The film at times seems to try and be funny which does actually work. The side characters seem to do their job incredibly well, bringing some humour to the film which does really help it. It brings something entertaining to the film which it is missing throughout most of the runtime. I do wish that the film went further with the comedy aspects as this is where I got the most joy from. However and unfortunately, it reverts back to its dull lifeless self.

The film is obviously very well made and there are some qualities to it. Maybe it's just me but this film didn't work for me at all. This most definitely isn't the kind of film for me. If you enjoyed it, great, I'm glad that you could enjoy this movie. But for me, this was a tough, long boring watch that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Paterson'? If so what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing this film. Once again thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor