Documents Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper.Documents Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper.Documents Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper.
After Joaquin Phoenix's apparent mental breakdown which came in the form of a legendary David Letterman appearance and a beard to rival that of Zack Galifianakis, many people in & out of the film industry fought to uncover the validity of Joaquin's retirement. Shortly after the release of the 'I'm Still Here,' questions were answered when Phoenix & Affleck admitted their worldwide prank saying that, from the beginning, it was all a hoax. If this admission is true, this film will become one of the most believable & ridiculous hoaxes in a long, long time.
Regardless of whether 'I'm Still Here' is actually a hoax (or if the hoax is a hoax, attempting to cover up the breakdown of Phoenix), it is still quite an entertaining film. However, due to the seemingly obscene subject matter throughout the film, it's hard to truly believe that any famous person would allow it to be shown publicly, risking a hugely negative backlash. We see Joaquin snorting coke (off hookers' breasts at one point), spanking naked men with towels, ordering female escorts, and other low-grade behaviour. If all of this actually DID happen without elaborate staging, then I send full respect to Mr. Phoenix for having the courage to allow it to be shown on screen like this.
One issue that the film does have comes from the overall style. While the story, content, etc., are all exceedingly engaging, the actual visuals of the film were almost unbearable. In a low-budget documentary like, say, the recent 'Catfish,' amateurish cinematography & direction are almost expected. However, when a documentary is being produced by two successful actors and is directed by someone who has been working on film sets for twenty years, this bottom-level style just does not work when the validity of the film's content are already in question.
Overall, however, the film does work well as a whole. Joaquin Phoenix, whether he's playing himself or the insane version of himself, is impossible to not watch, even with his constant arrogant and selfish behaviour throughout. If you watch along believing it just might be real, it will be an emotional roller coaster ride. Even if it is all a hoax, though, it's still one hell of a crazy ride.
Final Verdict: 7.5/10.
- Nov 26, 2010