Joaquin Phoenix plays a PI in a 70s California beach down, given three separate cases to investigate. He attempts to do so through a haze of drugs, and as he starts to get a grip on his work he begins to lose his grip on reality.
Forget the synopsis though. You just have to sit back and drink it all in. The biggest trick Anderson manages to pull here is making a film that perhaps doesn’t ‘make sense’ at first viewing, but isn’t frustrating or difficult to watch.
Everything about Inherent Vice suckered me right in. The hazy, smoke-filled cinematography, the writing, the music, the odd but hilarious sense of humour, the neo-noir plot that slowly falls to bits… it all kept me glued to the screen and as the credits rolled I only wanted to press play again.
Inherent Vice may be divisive, but it’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful and original films of the last few years.