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29 December 2011

Melancholia (2011)

Directed by: Lars Von Trier
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Country: Denmark, France
Runtime: 130 Minutes                   
In Lars Von Trier’s gorgeously shot drama, we are put in the position of thinking about what we would do if we were in the situation that we know the world will come to an end; And that is the powerful thing the film does, it evokes question. The film has a soft, but beautiful progression as the film captures destruction and distress. Kirsten Dunst gives an emotionally filled performance that provides the film with drama. Trier, whom wrote and directed the film, definitely has a distinctive style and it is definitely projected here.

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael   are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth...

From the beautiful and genius 8-minute introduction, to the film’s final moment of destruction, the film is shot magnificently. Although the down side is the camera was at times very jittery as it shook all over the place like a documentary, the film feels natural and calm as if we were really among the characters we see.  Are characters are not spellbinding, nor are they fascinating in characteristic. They are average human beings who discover something terrifyingly shocking which makes the film all the more natural.
Kirsten Dunst gave an emotionally driven performance as she starts spiralling into insanity a little due to her pessimistic foreseeing. Her engaging acting strikes you with emotion as we sympathise with her. I cannot only praise Dunst for her performance, but also the supporting actress Charlotte Gainsbourg as her sister Claire. Claire at first seems like a mean and very harsh sister: especially during the wedding. As the film progresses, you can see her relationship with her sister and things become quite emotional.

Although the film is magnificent in its own way by taking the simplicity of knowing the world will end in a matter of time, the idea is not original, just laid down differently and glossed with great cinematography. Is it successful? Yes, it works very well. The film has a progression that unwinds as the characters begin to become more and more filled with fear.

Von Trier was clearly going for a simplistic outlet of plot and it works very well as making an entertaining experience. With the great performances and tension, the film unfolds beautifully. This is the first Von Trier film I have ever seen and it is clear that he has a distinct way of making his films.  

The 8-minute intro involves seeing many slow motion shots of things happening in places on the earth, that we come to realise is actually clips from hat we are going to see later on. The clips we see are likely 1000 frames per second and with the beautiful music that plays it is a wonderful introduction. It may mean nothing for the time being but the gorgeous footage shown is like eye candy; a visual delight. 

It may to some seem like a film, that wastes time and that it moves far too slow. This is partially true, but the film conveys destruction and serious depression. Not to mention having a build-up that lasts right up to the film’s final minute. This is a soft progressing drama film filled with poignancy and an evoking plot summing up for an excellent movie experience. 


My Rating: 8.5/10

Extra Information
Distributed by Nordisk Film
Produced by Meta Louise Foldager & Louise Vesth


4 comments:

  1. I pretty much completely agree with your assessment. I'd probably give it the same rating, too. Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. terrific review, Tom. Thinking about seeing this, worth a go

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dunst was very good in this role but her character was just a little mopey for my liking. However, von Trier keeps his artistic vision in-tact and although there are moments of boredom, it still all comes together so well in the last 40 minutes. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I might just have to give this a look, I've held out long enough. Brilliant Review!

    ReplyDelete

 

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