I’m Not There
Generally, I hate movies. There’s the list of my favs; Scent of A Woman, Pulp Fiction, Blues Brothers, etc., but there’s rarely a time when, on a dead evening, I pipe up with, “Hey, let’s go to a movie!” Chalk it up to A.D.D. or blindness or lack of interest in seeing Saw #15, but movies usually just aren’t of a whole lot of interest to yours truly.
However, since I heard about, “I’m Not There”, I’d been raring at the bit to go! What? You haven’t seen “I’m Not There” on the marquis at your local Cinema 20? That’s because it’s not a movie that’ll get a whole lot of recognition from the big boys.
“I’m Not There” is a fictionalized account of Bob Dylan’s life(and you know what a big Dylan fan I am!), but not anything like what you may expect. It is, if nothing else, an art film. Hence, it’s disjointed, vague, strange, jumbled and confusing-and it’s also one of the most creative works I’ve ever seen.
The writer took six intermingled segments from Dylan’s life; the fictional account of his life prior to NYC he told reporters once he got famous, his heavy drug days, the interviews with non-answers he was so famous for giving during press conferences, and, strangely, an old west-ish scene with Billy the Kid.
Mixing all these segments together is confusing enough. But then, keep in mind these are somewhat fictionalized. So, the role of Dylan is played by a folk singer named Jack Rollins(who?), but who walks, talks and acts like Dylan. Hmmm. Now, the plot thickens when, in each segment, Dylan’s role is played by a different actor. Richard Gere being one of them. That’s not so far-fetched, but when Dylan’s role is played by an 11 year old black kid, by Kate Blanchett(sp? Remember-I’m not a big Hollywood fan and less of a Hollywood speller) and a few others who, well, aren’t remotely close to the demographics of Dylan.
And, hands down, Kate Blanchett gives one of the most intriguing performances I’ve ever witnessed on screen. Strange enough to see a female acting this role, but she obviously did lots of study into the idiosyncricies of Dylan before stepping on the set. Just powerful.
Now, why do I give you this review? Because you care? Nah, because I learned something in this film…
Viewing “I’m Not There” is akin to riding a roller coaster. You can do nothing but hang on annd enjoy the ride!! You can’t steer the film, you can’t predict it, you(often times) can’t even make sense of it. But the viewer will absorb it and enjoy it in the most of Zen ways. The more you try to make sense of it, the more frustrated you’ll become. So, just live in the moment, let the film be what it is-art in all it’s glory.