I knew before I started Anesthesia that I wouldn't like it, but even with the very low bar I'd set, it turned out far worse than I'd expected. Unless you have the opposite taste in movies from me, I can't recommend watching it. It's pretty terrible.
The film starts out with one long shot. The camera is stationed across the street from a florist and convenience shop in New York City at night, and we watch as Sam Waterston walks to the shops, buys flowers, picks up some groceries, speaks to passersby, and then leaves the frame. I'm assuming director Tim Blake Nelson wanted the audience to feel helpless and only able to watch the situation, but his constant attempts to appear superior and humble the audience really got on my nerves.
I rented this film, even though the synopsis gave me a pretty big clue I'd hate it, because I wanted to see some good acting. With Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Gloria Reuben, and Kristen Stewart, I thought I'd be in for an upsetting story with fantastic performances. Unfortunately not. Glenn walks through her very small role, Gloria isn't given anything to do, and Kristen gives an understated performance that just doesn't work, given her character's troubles. Sam is always great. He's a college professor, and during most of his scenes, he gives existential lectures—on paper they're quite boring, but he's had ample experience putting passion into his speeches. There's something about him that just makes you want to cry and give him a hug, isn't there? If you feel that way about the warble in his impassioned voice and the way his entire face lights up when he smiles, you're going to want to stay far away from this movie. In the opening scene, Sam Waterston gets beaten to a bloody pulp and mugged.
The rest of the movie goes back in time and shows several different characters' lives intersecting in the days leading up to the vicious attack. Pot-smoking teenagers plot to lose their virginities, a suburban mom suspects her husband is having an affair, a man tries to put his drug-addicted brother in rehab, and a self-mutilating student turns to her teacher for help. Yes, all these stories sound deep, interesting, and raw, but when you watch them, they fail on all three counts. The entire film thinks too highly of itself, and it's not at all entertaining to watch.
Kiddy warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, due to drug use and gritty violence, I wouldn't let my kids watch it.
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Philosophy professor Walter Zarrow is wounded during a mugging. In an effort to escape he rings buzzers indiscriminately, waking Sam, a middle aged father of two having an affair in the city. Sam reluctantly answers Zarrow's pleas, and Zarrow loses consciousness in his arms. Through an exploration of why these men, along with the mugger, and an addict named Joe, come together, we explore New York City. The experience of Zarrow, Sam, Joe and Zarrow's assailant ripple quickly out to include the connected lives of a housewife struggling with alcoholism, a stoner teen desperate to lose his virginity, a brilliant but failed writer fighting addiction, two parents confronting the prospect of terminal illness, and a brilliant grad student who wounds herself to feel alive.
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June 23, 2016 at 02:09 AM