White Noise (Netflix 2022) Film Review

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An Unforgettable Cinematic Experience: Noah Baumbach’s White Noise

An Introduction to the Chaos of Sound

Noah Baumbach’s White Noise is a captivating and unconventional film that defies categorization. Adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name, this stunning piece of cinema takes viewers on a journey through survival, death, consumerism, and the meaning of life in today’s America. From the very beginning, it becomes evident that White Noise has a distinct approach to sound. At times, the characters’ dialogue becomes intertwined and difficult to decipher, mimicking the overwhelming noise of our modern world. The film centers around a family of six, each absorbed in their own thoughts and opinions, resulting in an incessant stream of conversation that drowns out everyone else. This chaos serves as a reflection of the lives and dynamics of the Gladney family, a typical 1980s American family consumed by anxieties, self-centeredness, and constant motion.

The Unconventional and Mesmerizing Journey

White Noise offers a unique and original perspective on life, presenting a blend of humor, absurdity, reality, and surprise. Baumbach continually defies expectations and seamlessly merges different genres and moods throughout the film, creating a captivating and unpredictable narrative. Describing the film becomes a challenging task due to its complexity and the multitude of events that unfold. While the premise revolves around an “Airborne Toxic Event” that forces the Gladney family to leave their homes and enter an apocalyptic world, there is so much more to White Noise. Babette’s daughter Denise uncovers her mother’s secret pill consumption, leading her on a quest for the truth. Jack’s son Heinrich becomes fixated on the black cloud in the sky and its ever-changing effects. Meanwhile, Jack’s colleagues at the College-on-the-Hill mirror the same communication breakdown present within his own family. Additionally, the film explores Jack and Babette’s deep fear of death, adding another layer of complexity and introspection.

A Thought-Provoking Exploration of Existential Dread

White Noise weaves a complex tapestry of topics, offering a visceral experience that both challenges and captivates viewers. The film serves as a poignant commentary on our society’s relentless pursuit of easy solutions for our anxieties, be it through medicine, science, or religion. It highlights our tendency to become consumed by routine, materialism, and self-centeredness, losing touch with the present moment. Baumbach presents a bleak portrayal of America, reflecting the realities of our own existence. While hope exists within the narrative, it is scarce, leaving little room for significant personal growth or societal change.

A Triumph of the Unconventional

Despite its challenging nature, White Noise triumphs as a cinematic masterpiece. Through its unconventional structure, masterful execution, and Adam Driver’s exceptional performance, the film manages to leave a lasting impression on its viewers. Each individual will derive a distinct and personal takeaway from this thought-provoking piece of art. While the film’s commentary may not be revolutionary, there is much to admire in its ability to explore multiple genres and stimulate introspection. White Noise offers a visual and auditory feast, delivering unforgettable moments that blend grandeur and hilarity. It invites audiences to contemplate profound questions while evoking an inexplicable desire to visit the supermarket.


Noah Baumbach’s White Noise is a rare gem in the world of cinema. With its chaotic portrayal of sound, intricate exploration of existential dread, and engrossing narrative, the film stands out as a truly unique cinematic experience. Its ability to defy categorization and blend genres creates an unforgettable journey that will resonate with viewers long after the credits roll.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the significance of sound in White Noise?

White Noise employs a unique approach to sound, where dialogue becomes intertwined and challenging to comprehend. This technique mirrors the overwhelming nature of our modern world and emphasizes the chaos and disconnection within the Gladney family’s lives.

2. Does White Noise adhere closely to Don DeLillo’s novel?

While White Noise is an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel, it takes artistic liberties to present the story in a visually striking and thought-provoking manner. The film captures the essence of the novel while incorporating Baumbach’s distinct directorial style.

3. How does White Noise explore the theme of existential dread?

White Noise delves into the existential fears that define humanity. It highlights our inclination to rely on routines, obsessions, and materialism to find meaning in a world that often seems devoid of significance. The film raises profound questions about our mortality and the lengths we go to avoid facing our anxieties.

4. What makes White Noise a cinematic triumph?

White Noise defies traditional narrative structures and seamlessly blends genres to create a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. Its unconventional approach, technical execution, and outstanding performances, particularly by Adam Driver, elevate it to the level of a true triumph in the world of filmmaking.

5. Where can I watch White Noise?

White Noise premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and is now available for streaming on Netflix. Indulge in this extraordinary film that pushes boundaries and challenges conventional storytelling.