I'm Still Here Movie Review
I'm Still Here is a documentary revolving around Joaquin Phoenix's "retirement" from films in the hopes of starting up a rap career. The film is dark, intense, emotional, and sometimes disturbing. The best part about it? None of it is real.
Director Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix devised this film as an exploitation of the general public's fascination with reality TV and how they believe everything they see is real. I'd say the experiment was a success. The amount of work and brilliance that was poured into this film is evident as each scene captures the audience's attention and doesn't let go. Every scene feels real, and throughout the film it's hard to believe it isn't real.
In my first viewing, I thought this film was a true-to-life documentary. I felt bad for Joaquin, wishing I knew how to help in some way. He seemed so tortured, as if he was trapped in his own labyrinthian mind with no hope of escape. The emotion he conveyed was deep, powerful, and profound. While everyone around him was turning against him, I still felt badly for him.
The fact that this whole film was a hoax is remarkable. Just to think how much planning and preparation went into this project is almost unfathomable. To keep the entire world clueless until the film was made and released had to not only be stressful but incredibly difficult to keep quiet.
In conclusion, I'm Still Here is a brilliant film and a brilliant hoax made all the better by a team of masterminds. I can't praise Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck enough. This film proves that not only is Joaquin Phoenix an incredible actor, but he's also an incredible secret keeper. Anyone else might have have accidentally let something slip. Not these guys. These guys are pros, and I have an all-new respect for them both.
© 2016 Alec Zander