Sundance Film Review: The Informers
All right, lets just get something out of the way. Yes, Amber Heard is naked in this film. Very naked. Many times. If you have heard anything about this movie at all, it was probably that. Was it cool, yes. Is the film worth seeing for that fact alone, probably. Now that its out there, lets move on. The film's backdrop is in early 1980's west Los Angeles, complete with all applicable clothes, hair, music, cocaine, and Billy Idol references. The film follows three main groups of different people through their journeys of self loathing and discovery. These three stories are not majorly connected in any obvious way, though at times their paths briefly and subtley do cross at various points in the story.
The main focus of the film rests on a group of vintage Hollywood "celebutaunts", their friends, and parents. Driven principally on sex, drugs, and self absorbtion this group has no apparent regard for anything but their own wants and desires. It seems that age is not wisdom with this crowd, as both parent and child alike are driven by the all powerful "me". In a similar, yet slightly more deranged position as this first group, lead singer of the British band "The Informers" Bryan Metro makes his way through his rock and roll lifestyle full of all the excesses you expect from an 80's rock star. Rounding up the third arc for the story is apartment lobby clerk Jack (Brad Renfro) and his unexpected and unwelcome uncle Peter (Mickey Rourke). Peter informs Jack he will be staying with him (along with his creepy kidnapper van) while he puts some of his "plans" into action. In the end, some of our characters manage to somewhat pull their heads out of their asses, while some are forced into it.
As I mentioned before these arcs do not melt together (except for very briefly) during or at the completion of this film. This is a bit of a departure for these "multiple story line" type films and it did suprise me a bit that the film maker chose to do this, a sense of convergence seemed almost inevitable at many points throuout the story. Though unexpected, this approach was not unwise or in any way crippling to the film. It simply makes you have to think a bit more to pick out the similarities and paralells of these characters.
Strong points worth mentioning were the great acting by the ensemble cast as well as a great and very authentic 80's feeling thanks mostly (in my opinion) to a great sound track featuring both original and recycled music. All in all the film left me feeling very neutral. Even though it featured great performances and did have a moment or two that made me cringe or laugh or both, I felt that it did not come together in the end for the emotional punch that it was capable of. In a film I like a sense of closure and completeness, this simply did not deliver.
My verdict; worth a see.