I am a big film fan- more indie than blockbuster, so I was looking forward to the screening of Woody Allen’s anticipated “Irrational Man”. I have not seen Joaquin Phoenix in action since Spike Jonze’s 2013 romcom “Her”.. if you count falling in love with your operating system romantic. Come to think of it, it wasn’t that funny either. But it was extremely watchable and like Irrational Man, makes you think and question life.
Phoenix plays Abe who is a deep thinking, deeply romantic but emotionally blocked philosophy professor who arrives at a new town to try and find the meaning of life. He is drawn to the intelligence of one of his students Jill Pollard, played by Emma Stone, and begins a platonic relationship with her. However she is intrigued by his tortured personality and wants more. She is rebuffed time and time again, whilst Phoenix begins an affair with another (unhappily married) lecturer- Rita Richards (Parker Posey).
With both women craving him, he is still not satisfied, and it is only when he overhears a life-changing conversation in a diner, that he realises that there is meaning to life.
Existential decision made, and a new found focus, it is as though he has been re-birthed and you see a Phoenix emerging from the ashes. Confident and purposeful, Abe strives to do what he thinks right. Whatever the consequences…
Believing that his act of vengeance to be right and true, his mood lifts even further, and he is unstoppable, and begins a relationship with his obsessed young student. Bouyed by joie do vivre, the two seem insperable, until the rumour mill goes into overdrive about the incident, and Jill starts to question the sudden change of heart.
Horrified with what she finds out, she confronts her lover and gives him an ultimatum, which he can only accept under the circumstances. However he has no intention of giving up his new love for life, and his selfish actions are tense, shocking and will affect him, Jill and Rita forever.
A mind blowing flim, which makes you question your own morality.
Watch the trailer here:
and here’s a sneaky peek: