Sunday, December 6, 2015

Short Analysis: Somewhere, A Visual Storytelling Film

This film is perhaps one of my favorites, which I believe showcases Sofia Coppola’s finest skills. Somewhere blurs the line between reality and the fact that it is a movie. Sometimes when watching it, I forget that I’m not actually watching someone’s life, but I’m just actually staring at a screen. Coppola is able to capture realness in this film and does it in such a simple, yet beautiful way.

Somewhere is about an actor, Johnny Marco, who is unsure about the life he leads and throughout the film we see his relationship with his daughter Cleo. There is dialogue in this film, but not much of it actually drives the story; we can tell a lot about the characters by watching them instead of them talking about themselves or what they feel. Most of the film is Johnny doing mundane activities like sitting on a couch smoking, attending press conferences, or flirting with women. Little things like this give the viewers an idea of the lifestyle Johnny leads and get a sense that he is unhappy with this all.

Besides Johnny living a laid-back Hollywood lifestyle, he also takes care of his daughter. It’s pretty obvious, even prior to him saying at the end “Sorry I haven’t been around”, that he wasn’t always there to raise Cleo. Johnny appears to be the most happiest when Cleo is around, doing fun things like playing Guitar Hero or lay out by the pool. Though Johnny is a famous actor who can get laid anytime he wants, it seems like Cleo gives Johnny’s life a purpose, which may be obvious after she leaves for camp and he breaks down claiming he is nothing.

After Johnny sends Cleo off to camp and has a breakdown, he checks out of his hotel and drives off. He pulls over on a random road, gets out, and starts walking. Probably just like myself, you ask yourself, “Where is he going?” and then you laugh in realization and answer with “Somewhere”.

Somewhere may seem boring and pointless, but a story of an unhappy man visually unfolds in the film. Sofia Coppola doesn't rely on dialogue to tell her story, so the viewers have to submerge themselves into the film following Johnny’s day to day life. Somewhere is a beautiful film that tells a story through actions and even though Johnny may be a douche sometimes, you feel bad for the man and can only hope he finds out where he is going.

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