Saturday, January 17

Blind Spot: Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights marks off two things on my list. Besides being my first blind spot movie of the year, it is also my first venture to the filmography of Paul Thomas Anderson, something that I will try to remedy throughout the year. His sophomore effort divulges into the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler during the (what I suppose was) golden age of the pornography industry.

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 screenplay also presents a clear, tangible time line, indicating the primal focus points of life-turning events that transpire to the characters. These moments are not grand, but subtle. One can pinpoint to the exact scene where something gripping to the film is about to happen, and it doesn’t use manipulation to achieve the effect it wants. It is profound because the scene speaks for itself. Life changing moments aren't grand gestures, but even the simplest of events, and in this case, harrowing events can trigger a switch inside a person. 

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
Year: 1997

10 comments:

  1. To me, this is still Wahlberg's finest performance and the movie as a whole is just wonderful. Glad you enjoyed this.

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    1. I have to see more of Wahlberg's films, but he is great in this one.

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  2. I'm glad you liked this! I think this film is wonderful. I hope you see more PTA, I love his films.

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    1. This was wonderful! I liked how it all came together so smoothly that it ends up perfectly.

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  3. This is your first PTA!?!?!?! He's such a distinct director, and even when I don't love his work, his vision is always so inspired and unique. I encourage you to venture deeper into his work.

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    1. I was surprised myself! I am definitely going to remedy that as the year goes by.

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  4. I love this movie. One of my all-time favorites and actually one that really led me to truly start to understand cinematic style. Watch all of his movies. They are all great.

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    1. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of his filmography. Hopefully I get to pick off a few titles before the end of the year.

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  5. This one is on my Blindspot list for this year, too! I'm gonna check it soon now that I got a few insight from fellow bloggers.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! It's fantastic work from PTA.

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