søndag 27. september 2009
I love extreme cinema.
The sensation of being submitted to something I rarely experience in real life takes me through all kinds of mindsets and feelings and I highly cherish it if its well done and not just extreme for the blunt sake of being extreme.
A movie like Martyrs made me feel totally broken down, naked and raw and I loved every second of it.
I guess its like therapy for me in a way.
This is of course is a bloated way of explaining why I watched Lars Von Trier`s new magnum opus, Antichrist.
The synopsis is very simple, a therapist and his wife, deep in grief from losing their only child, a son named Nick, decides to go to their cabin in the woods where they continue a therapy process they started together, much against her doctors advice.
The woods bring out the madness and the darkness in them and we are witnesses to a descent, into a hell on earth.
First off, Antichrist is a beautiful shot film.
The lighting and colors makes for a dreamlike state where it lingers between reality and the purgatory of the relationship.
My hat goes off to the director of photography for this.
Now to the characters, played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainesbourg.
Gainesbourg delivers a brutal performance as the mother.
She goes from a cold apathy, almost comatose to a rapid madness in the same scene and is totally believable, which is an achievement as the role asks for a lot.
The mother is a highly unstable woman and without spoiling too much, possibly even more sinister than we are first lead to believe.
Dafoe proves once again, that he is one of the best character actors working today, giving life to a complete bastard of a therapist.
His arrogance towards his wife and her doctors makes for one of the most annoying characters I`ve had the displeasure to watch in a movie.
He seems blind to the fact that his wife needs more than he can give her and that escalates the descent into the nightmare.
This is not me saying Dafoe was bad in the role, he is as close to perfect for the role as his female counterpart.
Its just that the character thats a piece of shit.
I guess what I`m saying, I hated these two.
They are both unlikeable, pompous people with giant egos that has no idea of how to cope with their situation.
And here is the biggest weakness in the movie, I didnt care for the couple so why should I care what happens to them out there in the woods?
It feels more like we do for the torture fodder in movies like Saw and Hostel than the victims in the aforementioned Martyrs or the pregnant girl in Inside, another favorite of mine.
I dont know what Von Trier wants to say with this movie, maybe through his experiences with therapy, he has grown a hatred towards it, or is he trying to say something about the evil in humans?
I have no idea.
It is a piece of art made to make you feel something, it just never tells you what.
Does that it make it better than most?
A lot of critics claims Von Trier once again delivers a statement about how evil women are, those thoughts are just wrong as both genders are wrong in this.
I think he hates both genders the same, for no one is left in a good light in this. We just see it more through his eyes than hers.
I am clearly rambling here but that is kind of what I`m left with after seeing it.
It is violent, manic and desperate but is it a good film?
Im left wondering and very unsure.