Unpopped Kernels: Paterson (2016)

Adam Driver is just one of those actors.

There is something so terribly unique about him.  His presence on any sized screen is immediately engaging and provocative. Whether he’s the roguish lover in cult television series Girls or destroying our childhoods by killing off Han Solo (woah: Spoiler alert) in The Force Awakens, his tremendous acting build can fill any role and execute it greatly. From astute dramas to compelling comedies, Adam Driver can conquer it all.

Stripping back his talent and embodying this utterly human role, Driver perhaps showcases his best role in Jim Jarmusch’s stunningly poetic (literally) indie flick Paterson.

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Embodying the titular role, Driver plays a bus driver and aspiring poet who lives in a town of the same name. With his eccentric girlfriend following different artistic dreams whilst transforming their house into a black and white alcove, Paterson follows a somewhat simplistic small town life that is populated by regulars, routine, and a strange predilection for twins. As the days unfold, Paterson spins his life into earnest poetry that narrates this charming and riveting film.

With big blockbuster Hollywood hogging our attentions with over-saturated and bloated explosive affairs and Oscar season promoting evocative and emotional films for our intellectual consumption, it seems we are overwhelmed by these choices that dilute our interest.

Nestled within this ebbing sea is Jarmusch’s lyrical and terribly human piece that tackles a modest soul interacting with his life in a charmingly realistic way. No great event over encompases Paterson’s life but he is affected by daily occurances that fritter at his patience or kindness. In a cyclic fashion, his world is moved by machinery and human breakdowns as well as a few pet quibbles with his dog. While that may seem simplistic and tedious, Jarmusch presents underlying complexities, odd occurrences, and rather droll conversations that echo within our epitomes character, reverberating through us too.

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Driver is a profoundly superb actor who can take these slight and passionate feelings and unravel them in a gloriously emotional but rather astute way. His subtle reactions to extraneous events are marvelous as he can etch an inner monologue with just a few words, weaving such a core persona and map of emotions so delicately. Driver is an immense force because the actor can charge the screen with an unparalleled charisma working on the nuances of his character, his pleasant but still turbulent outlook of his life and how he greatly he channels that into his written word, adding a shine to his humdrum world and looking at the positive aspects of it.

Paterson is not an entirely entertaining film in the general Hollywood sense of the term which makes it that much more enjoyable as you are absorbed into this Paterson Poetic life. Riveting because of it’s lucidity, Jarmusch’s talent for excavating the soulful centre of all of his characters is written gloriously within this tentative independent flick. Laying bare the minute obscurities of a perhaps monotone life (literally in the fashion sense of his frustratingly hopeful girlfriend,) this is a celebration of how fruitful the seeming normalcy of life can be.

Paterson is available on Amazon Prime! 

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