Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Anesthesia


Synopsis: We open with a college professor (Sam Waterston) being brutally stabbed on a New York street. We then flash back to a few days prior where we see the life of this professor and an ensemble of other characters. A housewife (Gretchin Mol) struggles with alcoholism and the notion that her husband might be having an affair. One of the professor’s students (Kristen Stewart) is dealing with an existential crisis and has turned to self-harm as a means of escape. In the meantime, a relapsed heroin junkie (K. Todd Freeman) is being forced into a psych ward and is struggling through the detox process. This is all while the professor’s son (Tim Blake Nelson) is dealing with his wife possibly having ovarian cancer and how their kids are coping with it. How do they come together and relate? You’ll just have to see.

Review: Anesthesia is a movie that I enjoyed by its end, but struggled with near the beginning. A big reason for this is that the pace is incredibly slow and it’s very unclear how all of the stories connect, which will leave a number of audiences confused and, in some cases, bored. However, when the connections became clearer further on, I started to get hooked.

The title is actually very indicative of the the movie’s theme because we’re shown the characters using many different means of numbing their own pain. Things like hurting themselves, weed, having an affair, alcoholism, heroin, hook-ups, and so on. The only case of literal and legal anesthesia is the woman undergoing cancer treatment, which she does to help save her life rather than to avoid a painful truth. It’s very much the kind of cinematic symbolism that film critics eat up, which is fitting since this is an IFC movie.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this movie won’t appeal to everyone. It’s one of those pictures that academics and film teachers will show to their classes, but that doesn’t always translate to something that the everyday viewer will appreciate. I enjoyed it when all was said and done, mostly because of all the films I had to watch and analyze for classes, this was one of the least offensive ones to my common sense. I think I’ve given you enough to know whether you’d like it or not, so those who are interested should give it a look.

Fun Tidbit: Information on this film is so sparse that it has three different years listed as its release date: 2014, 2015, and 2016. Here’s how it actually goes: it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015 and was released to the general public in 2016. The film actually began its production in 2013. There, now that’s cleared up and nobody has to fight about it ever again until the end of time.

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