“Anomalisa” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

2 January, 2016

Directors: Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson
Screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman
Director of Photography: Joe Passarelli
Cast: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan

Synopsis: A reclusive author who has travelled the country to deliver a speech on customer service finds his reality changing after a romantic encounter with an attractive woman. Already suffering from a severe form of emotional detachment, the man struggles to maintain his composure as the walls surrounding his already mundane life start to crumble.

Anomalisa Review:

A fantastic study of everyday life seen through the eyes of a character suffering from the early stages of a mental breakdown, “Anomalisa” balances the mundane with the bizarre as it captures and frames a perspective that both translates and transcends reality. Never short of innovation thanks to Charlie Kaufman’s trademark outside-the-box approach, “Anomalisa” assesses the inescapable awkwardness of life; the taxi driver who barely looks at you but acts like your best friend as soon as you get into their cab, the hotel staff who make polite small talk without any genuine sense of compassion, even the lack of conversation to be had with loved ones during times of great loneliness.

The film is a reminder of how utterly confined we all are within our one unique reality and of how suffocating it can be inside the bubble of life. The brain is a jigsaw puzzle and Kaufman muses on the plodding existence of his protagonist Michael who is consumed by his struggle to maintain a grip on reality. Every experience he has and every decision he makes is the product of his own free will and yet it feels so helplessly out of his reach whenever he tries to grasp something tangible and pure.

Kaufman allows his latest cinematic mindbender to drift off into new territories as the story reveals itself to be an unexpected romance built on the foundations of everyday life. “Anomalisa” is a sad, unidealised movie depicting transitory moments of happiness and satisfaction in an endless loop of monotony. The movie is a deliberately flawed take on what it means to be human, making us face the fact that, although life may be depressing, it’s never far from being beautiful.


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