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The West Wing
A multi-narrative set in early 1980's Los Angeles, bringing together characters from both the top and the bottom of society. Connecting them is their lust for drugs, freedom, beauty and feelings of indifference and decadence that can only be found in L.A.
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“You’re also sleeping with him and it’s stressing me out.” Unintentionally this line spoken by the movie’s leading man Graham (Foster) to his “girlfriend” Christie (Hearst) sets the tone for what is to be expected. The infidelity of his “girlfriend”, hyphens are mine since it’s more like a symbiosis rather than a relationship and neither is faithful to the other, brings Graham to a new height of emotions. He gets stressed out! Infidelity or death is the only triggers to his emotional vault. And those feelings don’t even last that long. His life, and this goes for most of the major characters, is numbed by substance and alcohol abuse.
The novel by Bret Easton Ellis, deals with the boredom and indifference of having everything and still nothing at the same time. His characters are continuously trying to feel something by inserting themselves into different scenarios. The movie captures this splendidly. You can grasp the indifference, the boredom, the way of living with no consequences and the total and utter decadence. From the books multi-narrative only one thread is cut out from the adaptation, the one starring a vampire. We still get to follow socialites and rich kids, a rock star, an unemployed actor now working as a doorman and a criminal. This is L.A. where people come to fulfill their dreams, but more than often will see them shattered. The question is what you do when you realize, that not only have your dream not been fulfilled, but it has also turned into a nightmare?
Gregor Jordan that had been praised heavily for his directing skills in Buffalo Soldiers (2001) saw heavy critic on his take on The Informers. The movie is among other things attacked for not engaging its viewers in its characters faiths. In times of recession, any other view on rich kids problems would be highly surprising. This is a story about decadence and not a heartfelt and touching drama. However, the most heartfelt storyline is the one where Les Price (Chris Isaak) tries to reconnect with his son Tim (Lou Taylor Pucci). How can Les become a father figure for Tim, and show him the guidance that he needs, when he is more of a horny teenager than Tim is?
The 80s setting is flawlessly accompanied by a soundtrack with 80s classics from bands like Simple Minds, Flock of Seagulls, Men without Hats and Gary Numan. The real treat is however Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Jason Falkner, Justin Stanley and Dave Palmer’s composed songs for the story’s fictional music icon Bryan Metro (Mel Raido). They capture the pain and anguish in him and his fellow fans beautifully. Metro not only sleeps with young boys, but also brutally hits a groupie in the face in order to try and fill his emotional void.
Another fact worth mentioning is that the movie is dedicated to Brad Renfro who died shortly after the shooting of it ended.
This is another 4 out of 5 rating; only thing missing is some loose ends that need tying up. Telling you which ones would be a spoiler. The Informers has not yet reached cult status, but like the other of Ellis’ books that have been adapted for the screen, Less than Zero, American Psycho, Rules of Attraction, it will most likely turn from a sleeper into cult. If you like the 80s, Ray Bans, MTV, beautiful people, Bolivian marching powder or Bret Easton Ellis then you will enjoy this movie.