Many movies try to recapture those magical feelings of old 1940s and 1950s noirs, but few succeed, as well as Under the Silver Lake, a quirky 2018 mystery movie.
We are in Los Angeles, the land of false promises and unattainable dreams for many young people like our protagonist, the unemployed and slacker Sam.
Always living on the verge of eviction, nothing seems to really matter to him except the disappearance of the mysterious and beautiful Sarah, his new recent neighbor.
Unfortunately, the police have no intention of investigating, immediately dismissing the case as if the girl had left town without telling anyone.
But Sam can’t help but satisfy his curiosity, so when he notices another woman in his missing friend’s apartment, he starts following her all over town.
Passing from neighborhood to neighborhood, through very different social companionships of singers, actors, and wealthy L.A. tycoons throughout the city, he discovers codes and messages that make up an absurd puzzle together.
That’s when he has to enlist the help of the cartoonist of Under the Silver Lake, one of his all-time favorite comics, who has always maintained that there is a vast media conspiracy that, through a well-funded and strategic strategy, wants to keep power through songs and the manipulation of the pop culture of the population.
Despite his initial skepticism, he eventually comes to believe the conspiracy theories and fears that one of the invisible networks of this huge conspiracy poses hiding what happened to the beautiful Sarah, behind the scenes of everyday America.
Once upon a time in the old, new Los Angeles
Under the Silver Lake is a fascinating journey through the disillusionment and morbid romance that comes from the desire to be someone in life and not just another cog in the big machine, told from the perspective of modern-day youth.
David Robert Mitchell, director and screenwriter, writes an unlikely but compelling and puzzling plot full of original and intriguing ideas, subject to constant metamorphosis.
It is a singular journey into a Los Angeles we do not know, hidden and yet always before our eyes; an examination of the city’s every street and building through the lens of a spirit at once dark, hilarious, and romantic.
This singular tour takes us through some of the great metropolis’ best-known attractions, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s tomb and the statue of James Dean, transforming Los Angeles into a grand chessboard where the pawns are oblivious to the giant kings who rule their lives in the shadows.
After stunning with the unconventional It Follows, a horror film that challenged and twisted the laws of the genre with an entirely new formula, though traditional in style, Mitchell again dismantles all ethics of so-called “political correctness” through the simplicity of his storytelling.
Indeed, even though viewers find the plot so complicated that they almost can’t comprehend it, even after watching the film several times, what really matters, in the end, is that the protagonist undertakes a pilgrimage toward the truth and essentially captures an entire generation’s quest for the purpose and meaning of its existence.
The small, but equally large, important filmography of a new director
Describing a modern-day Los Angeles, David Robert Mitchell resurrects its vintage soul through a fresh, new cast who act like classic iconic Hollywood actors and actresses.
The main character, Andrew Garfield, is a young man who behaves irresponsibly with everyone else in the story except the woman he is interested in.
A fellow boy who is out of work but has no interest in finding one and is satisfied to exist in a state of disillusionment while other people struggle every day without ever being able to enjoy a moment of peace.
Although his landlord regularly threatens him with eviction, he doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered or concerned about it, so caught up in investigating the intricate mosaic of deceit and conspiracy, he uncovers beneath the surface of his beloved city.
In this case, the beautiful actress instead embodies every guy’s dream of love, a sexy, friendly, and available new neighbor, who, however, disappears soon after making the protagonist’s heart flutter.
Her absence infuses Sam with a new energy, shaking him out of boredom and vulnerability to embark on an adventure he never even imagined the day before.
Under the Silver Lake is an eerie thriller that takes us to an alternate version of an almost otherworldly Los Angeles, as if it were a planet from another unknown galaxy.