Waking Life (2001)


Animation | Drama | Fantasy


Richard Linklater




Wiley Wiggins, Eamonn Healy, Timothy Levitch, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt, Steven Soderberg, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Steven Prince, Caveh Zahedi, Otto Hofmann, Richard Linklater, Alex Jones, Kim Krizan, Louis H. Mackey, David Sosa, Robert C. Solomon, Steve Brudniak


A man (Wiley Wiggins) walks through what may be a dream, meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe.


I love Richard Linklater. I believe he is one of the few, if not the only director capable of crafting a fantastic film without having a real plot, and that's what I like the most about it. And "Waking Life" is no different from his other works. It is indeed another plotless but thought-provoking film.

Like I said, this film has no plot, there are just random events happening over a few days - or maybe it's just a dream - in the life of the main character, the reason why the film is so interesting. It isn't the character itself - we actually don't even get to know the guy very well - but the things he does and says, and the people he interacts with that make the film deep and philosophical.

I am no expert in philosophy, but I don't think it takes one to see how beautifully Linklater integrated into the film issues of philosophy, science, dream and death. And it's in a quite fascinating way that he tells us what it means to be alive, and in a very brutal but honest way he poses and tries the answer to a very important question: are we sleep-walking through our waking state or are we wake-walking through our dreams?

Although I say "Waking Life" is just like any other Linklater film, it's not true. It is an animated film which makes it even more fascinating, especially because the film was first shot with actors and then transformed into a kind of post-modern painting animation. Simply brilliant.

However, what I liked the most about this film was the scene featuring Jesse and CĂ©line, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, because they are the main characters of the best romantic trilogy ever made, Linklater's Before trilogy.

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