Narc officer Bob Arctor (Reeves) has to investigate the workings of a group of addicts of substance D. Also to be accurate, its not investigate, its spy and the group includes him. These addicts however are not as they seem. They are a collective of oddity and strangeness. The drug having destroyed the ability to clarify reality from fantasy drug dream, means that the spying becomes self inflicted torture.
Its pertinent to mention the rotoscope process that the director of the film Linklater had used previously in Waking Life. For some it adds an unbalanced texture to the piece, for me it adds the note of disturbed reality the film is exploring. Drug realms and the idea of self analysis blend here. Linklater did some of this in his previous film but here he makes it feel easy enough to consume on a mass scale.
The performances are tuned also to this and react to our promise of a world abstract from reality. I love how Rory Cochrane plays the junkie beset by bugs with an electric uncontrollable tick. It is the films very centre of gravity. It is its very fibre of unreality. The script even develops this with the suits that reflect a thousand different people. Unreal reality in its form and in its representation.
Both DVD and Blu look and sound great! Little wonder there really as the film was released in a digital print and this was clean. The extra feature onf note is the commentary, which has Reeves and Linklater at their best. The animation tales piece is nice enough but They should have added more…
Commentary by Keanu Reeves, Writer/ Director Richard Linklater, Producer Tommy Pallota, Author Jonathan Lethem and Philip K. Dick’s Daughter Isa Dick-Hackett
The Wight of the Line: Animation Tales