When Alex, a 16-year-old skater, plucks up the courage to go to Paranoid Park - Portland's most challenging and infamous urban skateboard destination - he didn't expect his night to end with the death of a railway security guard. Deciding to say nothing about the incident, Alex does all he can to lead a normal life, but is troubled by a crushing burden of guilt which impacts on his relationship with one of his school's most sought after girls and his relationship with his parents. Soon, he finds he needs to tell somebody his secret, but with the police closing in, his choice of confidant could mean the difference between being caught and staying free.
A haunting indie drama.
- Paranoid Park review by Shatner's Bassoon
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
This is an excellent indie drama which follows the character of Alex, a 16 year old high school student who after a late night visit to a skate park, nicknamed locally as 'Paranoid Park', is involved in the accidental death of a security guard who chases him and an older skater for riding the railway cars in a train depot. After the other guy flees the scene Alex also leaves and says nothing about the incident to anyone. The burden of Alex's guilt becomes even more unbearable when a detective investigating the guard's death begins interviewing local skateboarders believing a visitor of Paranoid Park could have been involved. The film follows Alex over the course of a few days as he lives his day to day life, doing the things 16 year old kids do all the while hiding the fact he was involved in a man's death, the only outlet for the pressure a letter he writes detailing his experiences. It's a skilfully made film in which Gus Van Sant cleverly doesn't moralise on Alex's actions, instead simply taking as an almost voyeuristic look into the life of a generally good kid who makes a bad choice and does the wrong thing. The soundtrack is also real highlight with Van Sant's smart choice of avoiding a typical skate soundtrack and instead using jazzy orchestral scores from composer Nino Rota which shouldn't really work, but in reality cleverly compliments the dark, sombre and insular feel of the film. If your a fan of character based indie films then this is a title which should be high on your rental list and if you enjoy this you should also check out the equally good 'Shogun Stories' and 'Frozen River'.
Art or film you want to talk about?
- Paranoid Park review by NJ
(0) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 1
One word - BORING - It's a bit of a shame because the story had great potential but the constant shifting between time zones and shaky camera style is off-putting - to the point where for the first time in my life, I didnt bother watching to the end! It was almost as if the director way trying (too hard) to create a piece of art rather than an enjoyable, 'makes you think' film which was what I expected.