Overhyped? Definitely Underappreciated
I though Joe's Palace was totally absorbing. Whether he's overhyped, I can't say. But compared with most TV programming, he's a breath of fresh air.
Joe’s Palace is like walking into a modern art gallery, where perception is challenged by abstract, or nonrepresentational images. You can’t whiz through and see the pretty girl with the watering can or the still life of sunflowers. You have to sit down, stare awhile, and then ask yourself how does this make me feel.
From the moment the slot in the door is opened, you are looking into a world where nothing is as it seems, and as a result the tension is palpable. Not just the house, but also the people in it seem off kilter. The manager of the house is a little too nice, the current doorkeeper is clearly disturbed and Joe is an innocent, perhaps dense, young outcast who has no idea what he’s walking into.
The rich man isn’t happy or in control.
The black kid is more insightful than we initially think.
The beautiful, sexy woman is miserable.
The handsome government minister doesn’t enjoy his success.
The house is elegant and tastefully appointed but tainted by its original owner’s source of wealth.
Everyone and everything is flawed. The question is do you see those flaws as part of the mystery of life or do try to avoid or cover them up? Ask yourself at the end of the movie, who is happy?
Poliakoff is not for everyone because he puts you in an uncomfortable place. He wants you to leave with more questions than answers. What is the nature of the human condition? Is loneliness inherent? How do we deal with it? How do we connect? Does it change if we are rich or poor, male or female, black or white, clever or slow, well-connected or not? Some viewers will not feel the effort classifies as entertainment.