Firstly, I'm shocked by the amount of negative reviews I've seen for this film. It seems as though everyone has missed the point entirely. THIS FILM IS A SATIRE. So saying it's a glorification of sex, drugs, and decadence is absurd. Second of all, this film is not about plot - it's a character study. Yes, this is a film about the selfish, narcissistic L.A. scene and the people who inhabit it. And no, this film is not attempting to glorify the lifestyle these characters lead. The film is a warning, a modern morality tale. This film could have just as easily been set in ancient Rome. In the book, it's clear that Christie is HIV positive, and of course, the implication is that everyone she's slept with, as well as everyone that has slept with everyone she has is positive as well. Hardly a glorification of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Everyone in this film is lonely, desperate, and lost and will most likely soon be dead. A sequel to this film would depict the characters are wasting away from AIDS in their expensive private hospital rooms. Nothing good comes from the way these characters act, so how can this be a glorification? Ellis, like in American Psycho and Gramorama, is not trying to glamorize this lifestyle, he's attempting to satirize and criticize the people it creates. I'm frankly surprised that all can't see that. And The Informers does this very well. It shows us people that are difficult to like and even easier to hate. Towards the end of the film, the viewer isn't sure if these characters are to be pitied or laughed at. We're not sure if we should be appalled or fascinated. And that's the point. The Informers" is not a film about "sex, drugs, and rock and roll, European-style" (as an actor who plays Graham from the movie so eloquently puts it in the commentary). Rather, it's a film about beautiful people doing awful things. Why? To hi-light the moral decay that exists in our culture. To shock us into change. Bret Easton Ellis, a self-professed "moralist", is making a statement; beauty is only skin-deep and decadence will lead to your downfall. Also, despite the social commentary, this is one hell of a beautiful film. Perhaps what is so disturbing for people and why this film is so harshly criticized is because of what it does. It holds a mirror up to the viewer and you won't necessarily like what you see. There are no heroes in this film. Only moral decay, desperation, apathy. People who lack in a moral compass and need guidance. There is no catharsis and no "happy ending." There is no resolution. You are only left with your thoughts. At its heart, this interlocking web of shorts is really about the complex and fragile dynamics between fathers and sons. As the actor who plays Tim says it's a "relationship piece" and I agree. Now, that said, being a big fan of Ellis' work myself, this film disappoints as the "adaptation" it claims to be. For one thing, in the book, Bryan Metro is a vampire, and there is no suggestion of this in the film. Also, the film downplays the effect of AIDS on the characters, which is of course the main "concequence" of these character's grotesquely decadent lifestyles. In the film, it is implied that Christie is dying of AIDS, while in the book it is made clear. arguably the antagonist, its her decadence that brings about the demise of everyone around her. Perhaps it's this line that encapsulates the film in a way; "you can't make it in this town unless you're really willing to do some awful things. And you know, I'm willing." And this is the beauty of film. WE would never do such things, but it's thrilling to watch these "fake" people on screen do them. The irony - a common device in Ellis' work - is how these beautiful people are doing awful things to each other. It's interesting that the director said that for this film he was inspired by Italian movies from the 1970s, depicting beautiful people in terrible situations. The themes of decadence, hedonism and the price of that lifestyle fit well with the ominous soundtrack and dark tone the film used. "The Informers" is more than another 80s noir period film with a killer soundtrack featuring beautiful naked young people doing drugs. That is the surface of this film. The purpose, the "message" dare I say, goes far deeper than that and is based on how you choose to interpret this film and the book it is based on. We are not meant to laugh at these people, despite how lost and clueless they are, we're meant to pity them, and loathe the parents who made them the way they are. As Graham tearfully explains to Martin, he needs someone to tell him "what's good and what's bad" and asks how he's supposed to know if no one ever told him. On the surface, The Informers is a fascinating film on its own merit. It falls short as a successful adaptation of Ellis' book, though.
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Crime / Drama / Thriller
One week in L.A. in 1983, featuring movie executives, rock stars, a vampire and other morally challenged characters in adventures laced with sex, drugs and violence.
December 12, 2020