Film Review - Under the Silver Lake

>> There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a film that references Hollywood—for example La La Land, A Star is Born, and even Argo. While David Mitchell Robert’s (It Follows, The Myth of the American Sleepover) latest film is filled with references from old Hollywood, Under the Silver Lake will definitely not be a crowd pleaser. Taking place in Los Angeles, Sam (Andrew Garfield) meets a mysterious girl (Riley Keough) who goes missing shortly after their first encounter. Sam sets off to find her but instead uncovers a conspiracy far weirder than he could ever imagine.

Under the Silver Lake is a neo-noir mystery, it’s filled with references from old Hollywood crime films. The score—composed by Disasterpeace—is at times similar to what we heard in It Follows, but more often it’s large and orchestral evoking a vintage feel. Some of the dialogue can even be pinned back to older movies, in which the characters speak out the obvious points of the film instead of trusting the audience to come to their own conclusions. The camera work also makes a reference to old Hollywood as well. All of these elements were intriguing, and Robert’s ability to skew the audience's perception of time and setting will be his highest achievement as he continues as a director.

While this film has some good elements, it is also a large mess. Even while lead by Andrew Garfield, the film fizzled out about an hour in. The first act does a great job to hook you in, but the second part of the film is muddled and strange just for the sake of being strange. While it’s okay to have a film be unrealistic, the film should have a level of practicality when the story needs to go from Point A to Point B. Instead Under the Silver Lake glides from point to point and things fall into place without any intelligent thinking. 5/10 <<