Too bad the focus on the experimenter and not on the experiment. It suffers from the same problem of Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method": it's a biopic, when we have at hand a brilliant legacy. But in this case it's worse. Scientists are often not as interesting as their science. I'd prefer a narrative about the impact of the Milgram Experiment on society and science and not about how life turned out for Milgram. *
The experiments of Stanley Milgram aimed to prove certain conditions must be present for humans to inflict systematic pain onto others but instead controversially proved that the majority of people prefer to shirk responsibility for their actions in the excuse of 'just following orders'. Almereyda adds an experimental style of filmmaking to the proceedings that make the film less clinical yet impersonal. Interesting.
EXPERIMENTER is an exploratory essay in film form, which actually makes the stale biopic structure palatable. The direct address occasionally spells things out too much, and the while the limits of the story are efficiently stretched, in retrospect there's not much but classroom-ready entertainment value to recommend. The performances, however, made this totally worthwhile.
Playing like a less neurotic Charlie Kaufman piece, Experimenter is a curious and amiable film. On the surface it's a biopic but that takes a back seat as the narrative dives into the psychology of free will with a playful embrace and a timely reminder of the slippery slope of morality besieging our current times. 3 stars
The film’s structure was a bit fluctuating, occasionally alienated, which is not totally surprising if we remember the previous spasmodic narrative adventures of Mr. Almereyda – “Nadja”, “Hamlet”, “Cymbeline”.
The true fascinating story of Stanley Milgram, wasted on an uninspired, gimmick-y film with a very confused tone. The filmmaker seems to lose sight of the story, the tone, and the overall conflict - allowing the film to slip into a glacial pace with absolutely nothing of interest happening for decades. Shout out to the disastrous prosthetic facial hair and absurd Anton Yelchin cameo.
This Kaufmanish script is entertaining while watched but it doesn't build up in you once the film is over. This strange amnesia and emotional analgesia makes me think the director somehow failed on its grandilocuent cinematic experiment.