My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho: story about a junkie-hustler-prostitute desperately searching for his mother. The Biggest bombshell was Keanu Reeves, who just didn’t act at all, coming across so one-dimensional that it was both painful and hilarious to watch. Phoenix makes up for this, but it must have been near impossible with such one-sided ‘chemistry’. Huge chunks of the script had Shakespearean dialogue and acting, making it unnecessarily difficult to watch and understand. The visuals were bizarre and dreamy, but full of needlessly inane symbolism like salmon jumping upstream and strange fetishes being acted out. I kept losing interest but forced myself to finish it. River Phoenix was the only redeeming aspect of this movie, which should have been emotional and engrossing but ended up being pretentious, and not very watchable. Interestingly, very few films have made me feel this apathetic and mildly angry – another is Elephant, so at least Van Saint’s consistent! It just left me baffled as to why it’s generated such a cult status and acclaim. Great idea, atrociously executed.



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