AngelsArcanum’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think the narrative following changes of perspective innately brings about some depth about a wandering soul, now silent and without a body to inhabit, a moniker to abide by and a personality to lay bare creates an interesting dichotomy between this roaming null soul and the insanity it witnesses now in a different plane of existence.
With that said, while the cinematography and nebulous, clear and objective direction create some thought-provoking stuff about life and death, the lapses of awareness and perhaps the triviality of all the messed up events that occur in the film and in life (as Noe puts it: "the shimmering vacuity of the human experience"), its narrative is quite bloated and most of the events individually don't offer many ideas to ruminate on or grand truths to uncover, it just kind of plays out like a normal yet non-linear story about some drug dealer getting shot and his friends grieving with and overcoming his death while he sees memories of his past.
All the individual beads of memory or plot points in the present just kind of chronicle Oscar's life like a normal little tale with some unorthodox filming techniques. I think the film has some cool nuggets about existentialism as aforementioned along with bits on love and some of its forms and it is quite a unique story, but its padded out too heavily to give it that compact resonance, I think you could probably shave off 40 minutes to an hour and it would be a lot better.
The floaty camera, irregular panning over asymmetrical areas, wild neon landscapes and special effects start to become a bit taxing and almost nauseating after a while and coupled with the oblique and diminishing immediacy to its substance make it kind of exhausting.
Granted, a lot of sources seem to testify that it is suppose to be an uncomfortable film, and I guess I went into it and the opening few minutes expecting some rich, engaging parable that was supposed to be kind of entertaining still, so I may be jaded by my personal expectations being kind of shattered.
The bottom line is this is a fascinating and daring film I think has some hiccups and a style I can't really attune myself to, but one I immensely respect for pushing so many boundaries of storytelling and audio-visuals in the medium.