I cannot recollect having seen a more heart-warming film than this in recent times. Jason Segal, yes folks, you're reading correctly, the comedian Jason Segal, embodies one of the most endearing and intriguing characters I have come across on screen.
His voice is the voice of a man you would want to pay to listen to, just so you feel all the noise around you become irrelevant at least for the time the conversation lasts.
Segal is David Foster Wallace, the renowned American novelist most know for his novel Infinite Jest, who committed suicide at the age of forty six after battling two decades of depression.
But thats not what the film is about.
Spanning across five days, the film is a series of conversations between Wallace and David Lipsky, a writer working for Rolling Stone magazine (played by an in-form Jesse Eisenberg) who wants to interview the former.
Both actors get so brilliantly under the skin of their respective characters that what you are left with by the end of the film is a profound sensation of having witnessed two intelligent and philosophically well-versed people from another generation talking about life, the purpose of life, fame, addiction, materiality, the awareness of how hollow a material life can get, and also the helplessness that comes along with such awareness.
Mind you, a false note here or there could've easily undone the impact that the film leaves you with. But to give credit where its due, the straight-from-the-heart style of direction and the simplicity of the screenplay ensure that doesn't happen.
In my experience as a movie buff, a quality I have found lacking in most films of the feel-good genre (if there ever was such a genre) is nothing but plain and simple honesty.
And I am very pleased to conclude my review of the film, (of course with an expected recommendation for one and all to give it a shot), by putting it on record that this is indeed an honest piece of film-making, with a soul of its own, a soul so personal that I felt awakened- after a very long time- to a part of me that still wishes to remain lost in the abstract, away from the hassles of trying to make a name among people who won't even know the real me after I am gone.
A definite 4 out of 5.
Catch trailer here: