One thing that struck me about this film was the difficulty in connecting with the characters - while it was terrific seeing most of the actors chew up the story and the scenery, the main gist of the story was not as foreboding as I expected it to be - especially with the "scrambler suits". And - there are a number of intriguing aspects that bear further viewing (which I more than likely will do), but I am not sure people will discover what the reviews and other enthusiasts will say. I intentionally did not read the book before seeing the movie - since I find it is easier to determine the success of the film based on lack of knowledge. Granted, I knew the basic premise of the story (undercover narc seven years in the future on something called Substance D) but I kept looking for the parallels that everyone made out in terms of wire-tapping, automated tracking and loss of civil liberties. There were smatterings of it - but not to the level that would inspire the enthusiasm I have seen expressed from others in the political community. I think the main story was tough to follow - since there are a number of subplots which include (SPOILERS ALERT!):
- Who makes Substance D? The government? NewPath?
- Who is Donna? What is she involved in?
- Who is Hank - Bruce/Fred/Bob's supervisor?
- Did Bruce have children? A family? Or is it all a sleep/Substance D hallucination?
Is it worth seeing? Definitely worth the viewing - but be prepared for some discussions later in the evening as to what was actually discussed/presented. While not as good as others, it was definitely worth the price I paid (which was free).
Tags: A Scanner Darkly, Phillip K. Dick