The 2007 film I’m Not There, is a beautiful attempt in understanding the life and mindset of one of America’s most controversial musicians. The director jerks the audience into a formulaic unrealistic world, where many characters are wildly undressed only to express the characteristics of one man we know as Bob Dylan. Despite that most to all the characters are fictional, the director does an amazing job in allowing the audience to feel glimpses of Bob Dylan in each character. Some characters are favored over others. However, the trueness in their actions causes the audience to empathize with each character, like in the case of Robbie the actor, played by the late Heath Ledger. Robbie and his wife are separated and the audience is lead to believe it was do to his egotistic non-attentive attitude. Yet the audience sees Robbie attempt to speak with his wife, but surrounding distractions and bad timing muffles his efforts, these scenes are enhanced by the edit, which does a great job in building tension and anxiety in the audience. That scene allows the option of sympathy to be added to the character, and through his actions we see purity in fear.
The film’s non-subliminal approach to explain how time played a major role in his identities echoed through every aspect in the film. We can visually see that through each character, a different cinematic and sound approach is used to explain both the time and mindset, like in Jack the folk singers character, played by Christian Bale. The scenes involving him are shot like a documentary, just capturing a man trying to find himself and having nothing other than music to identify with. Contrast to Jack there’s Jude the unappreciated rocker, played by Cate Blanchett. The scenes are very stylized, edgy, with most to all visual effects with color, speed, and sound. The construction of the scenes supports Jude’s contradiction to everything including himself in order to stand against a quota that he once belonged to. Each era represented a different time in Bob Dylan’s life. He changed with the time. The director’s non-subliminal film approach may be the best way to begin to understand Bob Dylan and his life identity choices.