If Philosophy classes were rotoscoped (animation over live action), it would be Waking Life. Sit down and listen; it’s time to learn about life, dreams and creation. My head is already about to burst.
Waking Life is a series of discussions set within the realm of dreams. The main character drifts from one area to the next as characters throw out their interpretations of life, each wrapped in inconsistent styles wobbling on-screen. It feels like a dream world, no area or character feels quite real, but the live action actors under the animation create a sense that they aren’t completely illusionary. It makes the constant flow of science, reaction, dream awareness topics remain interesting, even when it can get a bit too lecture like.
The heavy-handed nature of the philosophy in place doesn’t balance well with the free-flowing dream like visuals of Waking Life and it would have been nice to have more anecdotes and moments of life playing out. The scene with the channels switching to different segments of life, from discussion to random events is when the film is at its best. Flash of life thrown together in the bending world of dreams. It’s captivating and brings a strong desire to go out there and experience personal flashes.
With a little more balance, Waking Life would have perfectly captured the feeling and questions of life. But what can one expect from a dream? You can’t control them unless you suddenly find your awareness. Check your light switch.
I wish my dreams were rotoscoped.