White Noise – Movie Review
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach (Screenplay)
Writer: Don DeLillo (Book)
- Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
- Greta Gerwig (Isle of Dogs)
- Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda)
- Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland)
- Sam Nivola (With/In)
Plot: Dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.
Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: White Noise starts as we meet Professor Jack (Driver) and his family Babette (Gerwig) and children Steffie (M. Nivola), Denis (Cassidy), Heinrich (S.Nivola) and Wilder. They live a normal life with the ups and downs of married life.
A toxic cloud is unleashed into the atmosphere when a train is involved in an action near their home. this sees the family joining the rush for evacuation, causing chaos in the local area. Only creating a series of chaotic events in the aftermath of the incident.
Verdict on White Noise
Jack is a specialist professor in the history of Hitler, he is married with children. He starts worrying about his wife and after the incident, the worry hits harder. As he tries to hold his family together through the chaos, he starts to see things becoming more difficult. He gives his wife and children space, listening to both sides of the discussion before reacting.
Babetta is Jack’s wife who stays at home with the children and loves to hear the stories of people joining the college. She has been acting strange in recent times, with her own daughter looking to investigate what is going on with her.
The children are a range of ages and all seem smarter than they should be for their age. They work on theories about what is going on, be it with their parents or the toxic cloud changing their lives.
Adam Driver does give us a great leading performance, filled with impending doom in his life. His character goes through the most during the film, leading to the uncertainty of everything around him.
In the supporting cast, we get strong performances throughout, Greta Gerwig as the wife with a secret. She makes it seem like everything is ok without giving too much away. Don Cheadle gets to have some fun scenes as a work colleague of Jack’s too.
The story follows a family that sees their lives turned upside by a mysterious toxic cloud, which only leads to personal problems becoming clearer. There is more focus placed on the idea of family secrets over the impending disaster.
This is a strange story that is more about personal drama than the chaos created by an evacuation. It all becomes strange how things are unfolding, focusing more on impending doom than anything else. This sends the story down a strange path that never seems to capture the horror it advertises itself as.
There seems to be a message about the problems caused by chaos and what it means to people. Showing how people will panic instead of taking a calm resolution. Most of the comedy seems to miss and fail to get the required laughs along the way.
Where to Watch: White Noise is available on Netflix now.
Final Thoughts –White Noise is a slow movie about impending doom.