• Kieran Burt

Paterson (2016) Review


Paterson is a 2016 film starring Adam Driver as the titular character and Golshifteh Farahani as his wife, Laura. It is a meditative film, going through a week of Paterson’s life as a bus driver, his writings as a poet and his home life.


Adam’s performance is quite low energy, but there are subtleties in there - such as the smirk he gives when two sexist men talk on the bus, only to have it wiped away when a women scowls as she leaves.


The plot is very basic, but that very much works in this film's favour. It isn’t meant to be a high octane action film, nor a plot twist filled thriller. It is a small peek into the life of everyday people, their struggles with love, work, or finding new hobbies to keep themselves occupied throughout the day. Tragedy doesn’t befall everyone every day, and it doesn’t here either.

Paterson is an enjoyable watch, allowing Adam Driver to show off his full range as an actor

Though that fear is still there. Every time Paterson left his dog outside the bar, or Laura moved onto a new hobby, there was a fear that something would go wrong. However, that is thankfully reserved until the end. If something had gone wrong in the middle of the film, and the rest of the movie side tracked to resolve that, things would have felt out of place.


The stand out character in this film is Rizwan Manji’s Donny. A fellow driver at the bus depot, he makes a few appearances throughout the film, but they are memorable. He slowly opens up to Paterson as the film goes and shares his tragedies. His last appearance, when he says that Paterson doesn’t want to hear what he has to say, was saddening - because as a viewer, I do.


Overall, Paterson is an enjoyable watch, allowing Adam Driver to show off his full range as an actor. The slow plot and the peek into this man’s life are highlights of the film, as it proves that not everything needs to move at a high speed to be interesting.


8/10