A Scanner Darkly (2006) – what a Film, what a story, what an original idea! This is quite obviously a cult classic. But you know how everyone jumps on that band wagon when something is original. They see the ‘cool’, ‘dystopian’ etc etc feel to it. Please don’t get me wrong as my favourite genre is the dystopian film. But this Phil Dick story had more in trepidation than the others. However, this is a man that wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner and then Total Recall, kind of). He is ahead of his time and reminds me of John Wyndham just not as dark.
So a scanner darkly is something that you can watch over and over again. I love this film, not just as Keanu Reeves (Bob Arctor) seems like he can act. The slow decline into addiction and paranoia is amazing and not so different to Robbins in the ladder although not in the same league. Psychologically I mean. With co-stars Robert Downey Jr (James Barris),Woody Harrelson (Ernie Luckman), Winona Ryder (Donna Hawthorne) and Rory Cochrane (Charles Freck) how can it not deliver?
Richard Linklater’s film is a test to how the author wanted it. It was all about paranoia, probably from the enormous amount of acid the man did throughout his life. I can reel off the various aspects of the film, the different plot situations that everyone who watches it establishes. But the fundamental point to this film is the underlying story of ‘big brother’ and ‘paranoia’. But it’s told in a Philip K. Dick kind of way, which after watching the film I’m sure you’ll agree is a specific kind of way of telling a story! (along with John Wyndham). A true modern classic – in my opinion.