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Items | 20 years of “Drunk in Love”, romantic comedy-drama with Adam Sandler

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Scene: A man watches a vehicle deposit a harmonium in the gutter of a deserted street. Shortly after realizing that this object will remain there until someone takes action, he leaves the small accommodation he has as a place of work, walks around there and waits for no one to look at him to take the instrument in his hands and running around his room. and try to play it without any success. That’s exactly how the first act of “Drunk in Love” plays out, already setting the tone for an unconventional romantic comedy-drama that brings completely unexpected characters into a unique setting and with a perspective that ultimately manages to come together. balance in the most bizarre and impossible outings. imaginable.

Paul Thomas Anderson has always had his own cinematic aesthetic, establishing himself as a great breaker of cinematic paradigms and taboos with works such as “Boogie Nights – Pleasure without Limits” and “Magnolia”. His latest adventure may not have gone down well with everyone, but once again he has plenty of room to use some incredible techniques and reaffirm his name as one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of his generation. And to top it all off, Thomas Anderson also leaves room for some industry names stigmatized by a narrative preference to explore their performative versatility – and yes, I’m referring in all words to Adam Sandler’s unexpected delivery to his role.

The main plot revolves around Barry Egan (Sandler), a decadent and psychologically troubled inventor who hates his life. He seeks balance in small things, like the harmonium mentioned above, but suffers from the constant abuse received by his seven sisters – who mask this abuse with false concern and even mock his unbalanced state – and the lack of professional flyers. Everything changes drastically as it passes through interesting events that shock the viewer with improbability, making the atmosphere both comedic and dramatic on a considerably balanced level. One of the events involves the instrument in question; soon after, he discovers a loophole in the food industry and decides to take advantage of it by buying dozens of boxes of pudding to get air miles. But perhaps the most transformative comes at the start of the second act.

After a family party fiasco opens Barry up to show his contained anger and further increase the complexity of his contradictory figure, he realizes that his personal and love life is also going from bad to worse and decides to contact a counseling service. telesex as a way to express how you feel and have someone to talk to. This is how he gets involved in a life or death situation that involves blackmail, loan sharks and stalkers – and all because of a scheme that features his emotional need and a very dangerous attendant. as the protagonist.

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In addition to this most tragic and painful part of his entire unforgettable journey, our anti-hero also meets someone with a personality as fluctuating and fluid as his own, the endearing Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), who elaborates also his own plan. to know him and who, if we analyze more analytically, is the softened personification of an obsessive stalker. But the idea of ​​Thomas Anderson, also responsible for the screenplay, is precisely this: to place the problematic people in an arc that seems cliché, but which stands out from other works of the genre. So expect a familiar background, including obstacles and the long-awaited “happy ending”; however, pay close attention to its core, as it is completely original.

Undoubtedly, the slips are well highlighted, especially in certain badly placed and sketched dialogues which become ambiguous and repetitive, since they represent an extension of the imaginary constructions. Although the performances follow an interesting level and remain within the scope given to them, it is sad to see how certain moments are wasted in favor of an impossibility that does not develop any kind of relationship with the public, such as the sequences in which Barry decides to go to Hawaii or even after meeting the gang of hitmen who decide to pursue him because of the money.

However, except for these structural issues, the film excels in the technical aspect. As already mentioned, Thomas Anderson has an incredible eye for the construction of shots and framing, and uses very well a dreamlike attack, based on the mixture of cold and warm colors and a subtle fog that invades the scenes. for most narratives, as a way to highlight the intangible personality of its protagonist. This amalgam is also reaffirmed by the incredible sequence shots which capture all the atmospheric essence and also open up the space to show the difference of the scenarios, even if they maintain the same identity – either by symmetry or by the palette of colors.

Unlike other works of this genre, which usually opt for more pastel tones, the director works with great affection for more saturated colors, especially blue – which accompanies the protagonist throughout his life and emerges as a dialogical remnant to reaffirm his inner paradox, as this tone is normally used with subtlety. All of Barry’s archetypal construction finds its complement in the figure of Lena, including her characterization that remains in a red frame, allowing both the opposing personalities and their possibly complementary quirks to be worked through.

“Drunk on Love” is a tale that leaves us in a heady state of confusion and wonder. Although he has his ups and downs, Paul Thomas Anderson manages to deliver a very interesting story that involves us every minute that passes through the inexplicable and the impossible – even if he sometimes opts for extreme impossibility and useless.

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