Under The Silver Lake

**

Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Under The Silver Lake
"There are just too many movie references and homage to the likes of David Lynch in this noirish thriller to make it anything other than an over-derivative exercise in style over substance." | Photo: Under The LL Sea LLC. All rights reserved

There are just too many movie references and homage to the likes of David Lynch in this noirish thriller to make it anything other than an over-derivative exercise in style over substance.

To be fair, there are compensations: it is well filmed and staged with a lushly over-arching soundtrack to accompany the proceedings.

Copy picture

Andrew Garfield also comes out of it all with some aplomb, playing the scruffy Sam, whose life seems to have no structure - apart from being constantly reminded of his outstanding rent arrears, about which he makes no effort to sort out. He displays admirable patience with his attentive mother who phones him up regularly to sing the praises of Janet Gaynor, and urging him to watch a re-run of one of her films on television.

Clearly, he is one of life’s drifters living on the east side of Los Angeles in a gently decaying apartment block surrounded by vegetation.

He spies from his balcony on his sultry neighbours and their nocturnal and day time activities - from an ageing and usually topless woman with a parrot to Riley Keough, as a Hitchcockian-style blonde with a dog and a distinct air of mystery.

When the latter vanishes from her apartment, leaving no trace apart from a Polaroid and a double diamond scrawled on the wall he determines to find out what has happened to her.

What follows is a weird and baffling ramble around LA, encountering greed, corruption, sex and power en route with shades of Chinatown, Mulholland Drive and Kiss Me Deadly infusing the narrative.

This is David Robert Mitchell’s third feature as a writer-director after It Follows and The Myth of the American Sleepover but possibly here he is striving to be over-ambitious for his own talents.

Under The Silver Lake is not without its fascinations but on the whole it does not take its audience along for the ride.

Reviewed on: 18 May 2018
Share this with others on...
A man becomes obsessed with the strange circumstances of a billionaire mogul's murder and the kidnapping of a girl.

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Writer: David Robert Mitchell

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Patrick Fischler, Grace Van Patten, Callie Hernandez, Zosia Mamet, Jeremy Bobb, Sydney Sweeney, Jimmi Simpson, David Yow

Year: 2018

Runtime: 139 minutes

Country: US

Festivals:

Cannes 2018

Search database: