indeed... the freddie Quell character was one of the best flushed out and vividly portrayed characters I have ever seen on film... and I did say FILM. It's a legitimate travesty that award was not given to that character for leading actor. I think it is unceasingly interesting to watch this character destroy himself on his search for meaning. Lewis is obnoxiously disgusting, Phoenix is beautiful and touching.
As far as the story not being flushed out... I think that if you are looking for a conventional linear storyline, you missed the entire reason for the movie. I don't mean linear in the sense that the movie is traveling along a straight timeline, I mean linear in the sense that this movie is NOT conventionally in it's ideology in the same way that Scientology is "alien" to the public en masse.
Ultimately, the coldness and unrewarding feel that most experience from the movie is in fact a credit to it's brilliance in that the movie almost has no meaning to anyone other than quell and dodd... unless, as a watcher, you are willing to accept that fact and also accept that we are watching the transcendence of the two spirits over generations, you probably will never "GET" this movie.
We're watching "love" between two individuals in a reincarnated state, with quell unable to deal with his loneliness and loss by exercising drink, and dodd exercising his by searching for meaning in the spiritual world.
My Name is Nobody...
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