Richard Linklater makes some great movies. If you don't know much about the movie, it was apparently filmed with actors and then handed to a group of very distinct animators. Recently, movies like Shrek have blurred some of the lines between specific animation styles. Waking Life removes the lines. There are lots of animation styles and the animators used the film cells as a basis for their work on Wacom tablets. The movie really benefits from these styles for two reasons. 1) The main character is searching for meaning inside his dreams and his life. He seeks the opinion of many people. His answers are diverse. The animation is diverse. It reinforces the message of the film - there are many questions and many answers. 2) Most of the movie has an existential focus. This isn't awful. Having the ability to lighten the movie via animation saves this film from being preachy or dull.
The movie is similar to Linklater's Slackers. In that movie, we are introduced to a few people. They interact with another of group people and we move along to the newly introduced characters. This serialization of the cast was very intriguing. Waking Life also has many characters, but instead of following each new group of characters, we focus on one protagonist - the dreamer. It is a little unclear how the main character meets all of the other characters. Some are in dreams, some in real life.
Probably a little preachy and slow for some, Waking Life is rewarding to watch.
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