I wish I remembered the 80s better. I was but a babe, you know, so none of those memories really stuck. The 90s? Sure, I can tell you about the 90s. The 80s, though… I have to rely on old television and movies to tell me about those years.
Mandy, written and directed by Panos Cosmatos, is set in 1983. It’s about a guy (Nicholas Cage) and a gal (Andrea Riseborough), a couple who live in a cabin made of windows in the middle of the forest. Pacific Northwest, the movie description says. I’ll take their word for it.
So, this couple is doing their thing, living their life of haunting colors and starlight, when this gang of cultists (fueled by some crazy powerful psychedelics) shows up to kill Riseborough and leave Cage for dead. Cage gets free, of course, and then goes on a murderous rampage (again, fueled by crazy powerful psychedelics).
I mean, to be honest, everything worked in Mandy. If you’re into it. The saturation of reds and oranges makes you feel like you’re watching some hellacious fairy tale through the flames of a fire as it consumes you. It’s creepy. It’s trippy. It’s funny, whether it wants to be or not. It’s worth seeing.
What Didn’t Work
I’m the wrong person to ask. I wasn’t on drugs when I watched it, so I don’t think I was really the intended audience. There’s tension. That sort of tension where the movie is eerily quiet and then the synth starts welling up, someone cackles a too-creepy cackle, and someone else does something truly horrendous with the synth suddenly exploding in your ears… If I smoked pot and had my sense of time both elongated and shrunk simultaneously, I’d probably have loved it. If you’re a stoner or you have a better attention span than I do, you might dig it. Me, though? I kept finding excuses to wander away from the screen.
I’m not going to say any more than this. If you watch it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is probably my favorite part of the movie.
I’m glad that I got to see Mandy. To sate my curiosity, if nothing else. The description of the movie sounds awesome. The book version would probably be pretty fucking epic. The movie is probably epic, but I wasn’t into it at the time. I probably won’t watch it again of my own volition, but if someone I’m with wants to pop it in, I’m not gonna complain too hard (but I will most likely insist that we get high first).