Dirk Diggler started out as a dishwasher at a nightclub where he was discovered by Jack Horner, a director of the industry. He soon finds himself joining the industry and succeeding, becoming the next big star. He also surrounds himself with people from the industry who have stories of their own, which gets further developed as the film proceeds and chronicles the pitfalls of Diggler as he succumbs to various vices after initially getting fame over his head.
Paul Thomas Anderson didn’t make a film about pornography, but focuses on the behind-the-scenes dealings of the people involved in the business. He had a clear beginning and a clear end, with the transitions that are transfixed in particular scenes. He doesn’t fail to show the glory of the industry, His screenplay allowed the gradual flow of challenges the characters face through various situations, coupled with social stigma to their identity because of the brand they start being synonymous with. The beauty of the screenplay is that while it primarily revolves about the dealings of Diggler, Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t fail to recognize the potential of the supporting characters into adding color and flavor to his film.
The filming style used becomes complimentary to the era of the setting. There is a switch of ratio when Paul Thomas Anderson presents a film of the time, rendering the difference between onscreen and off screen, of portrayal and reality. The actors were all so wonderful in portraying their characters and letting the script come to life. Gearing at the lead is Mark Walhberg, who was great in the film. Alongside him, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, among others were also excellent in the roles. Their performances allowed the spotlight to focus on them, but at the same time they don’t steal anybody’s screen time enough to nab the film. Rather, it was a joint effort for everyone involved to portray the story as PTA intended it to be.
Final Word: Coupled with a great screenplay and fantastic acting, it was a wonderful sophomore effort from PTA
Cast: Mark Walhberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson