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A Scanner Darkly

  • PLOT

Set in the county of Orange Country in California, in the not too distant future, Bob Arctor, Keanu "Neo" Reeves, is an undercover narcotics agent, infiltrated by a group of junkies, looking for dealers of a very powerful drug derived from the substance M, but becomes a drug addict. He ends up spying on and keeping under surveillance himself, now split into two personalities and led to a psychosis due to the effects of the drug. The more he loses contact with reality, the more he will be able to achieve the goal of his mission, without any chance of recovering himself.


Based on a novel by Philip K. Dick (apparently very faithful to the original story), the film moves slowly through the paranoid and meaningless talk of drug use, with a plot that slowly unravels into crescendo: as slow is the beginning of the film, as fast, sudden and unexpected is the ending. This makes the story static and sometimes a bit boring, but the final twist is worth the wait. The cast is respectable between Reeves, Robert "Iron Man" Downey Jr., Woody "Lerry Flint" Harrelson and Winona Ryder and does not disfigure at all.

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But the most interesting and particular thing is the technique with which the entire film was produced, rotoscoping, which consists of shooting the film normally and redrawing it on film later, turning it into something very similar to an animation. This technique makes the whole thing even more delirious and amplifies the feeling of disorientation of the characters. This technique also allows the film to overcome the problem of special effects and the hallucinations of the characters.


Definitely paranoid, philosophical, with a lot of dialogue and almost no action scenes, which makes a world made of junkies very well. Interesting.

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