Remorse of a teenager.
It can happen. You get trapped in some terrible event and you don’t know how to respond to it. Your mind is going back and forth from one position to the other, but there seems to be no solution. This is what happens to Alex, a good boy who goes to highschool and who likes skating on his board very much. One day he goes with his friend Scratch to Paranoid Park, an illegal skating park and he immediately likes the atmosphere. He is not a very good skater but he likes to sit on his board and to look around. At home there is a lot of tension, because his father doesn’t live with his family anymore and his parents are going to divorce. Alex' younger brother has to puke during dinner. Alex is also insecure about his girlfriend Jennifer. He doesn’t know if he wants to go on with her. She likes him very much. They did not have sexual intercourse yet, but he fears that if that will happen, it will be harder for him to finish their relationship.
In the beginning of the movie Alex is writing near the beach in a notebook about Paranoid Park. We understand that something terrible has happened there. In school he has to come to a policeman who tells him someone has been murdered near Paranoid Park, that they found a skateboard in the river. He asks Alex if he knows something about it. He is very friendly, but more and more Alex is puzzled about what to do.
In the night after the murder he stays in the house of his friend Scratch. He wants to call his father who lives with his uncle Tommy, but Alex hangs up after he hears the ringing one time and sinks in a chair. Later on when he is home, his mother tells him that Tommy called her that he saw it was the telephonenumber from the Scratch family. His mother told Tommy that Alex was staying overnight there. Alex tells his mother he was mistaken and wanted to make a phonecall to someone else. She says to him that the phonecall was at 4.30 in the morning. More and more Alex has to lie his way through the days.
Paranoid Park is told in layers. It is not a lineair movie in time, but this way we get to see the remorse of Alex very clearly: his loneliness, his need to escape his friends, the double world he enters. A teenager who is already not very rewarded by good circumstances. It is especially the cameraman Christopher Doyle - or I should say cinematographer - who does a great job.
Unfortunately it was not very plausible that the policeman who talks with him in a very friendly way in school, doesn’t try to get to know who that skateboard in the river belonged to, but while I write this article, I think about the possibility that maybe he knew it was the skateboard of Alex and that he feels sorry for this boy.
The movie was made in Portland, Oregon and is full of music, also classical music by Beethoven at the dramatic moment of the incident . Gus Van Sant made in 2005 another biopic Last days about Kurt Cobain.
This link goes to the Trailer