Writer/Dir: Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville)
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbouroug
First off, I have to say that after seeing Dancer in the Dark I didn't think I would see another Lars von Trier film. Not that it wasn't a good film, but I was so mad after seeing it that I didn't want to go through something like that again. But the anticipation built from Cannes (where Charlotte Gainsbouroug won Best Actress), to all the buzz at TIFF, including stories of walkouts and other various reactions, my curiosity got the best of me.
The film starts of beautiful and wonderous. Visually spectacular and haunting, I was amazed at the beauty but then just as quickly it turns dark where it sits, stirs and ruptures our thoughts and emotions. Centred on working through a process, and what approach to take gives us intellectual stimulation on what we are presented with but the film creates a purposefully isolation which makes it frustrating as it confines the viewer to the limited belief systems created. It creates it's own boundaries, which is brilliant but also infuriating.
The film kept my interest to a point. When it was discussing ideas and the processes it was interesting, questioning, even if it was done in a light with a power imbalance and blurring the lines of relationships. But, it got to point where it went from theory to making a statement and at that point it lost me, I didn't believe the statement within the context of the film nor in reality and from a women's perspective I think it's an awful idea to have floating out there.
What does keep you reeled in is the fantastic acting by both Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbouroug who the film focuses on exclusively. It was great to see Willem Dafoe in a couple - we don't usually see that from him and he did a fantastic job. The relationship between the two was real, it truly felt like we were seeing a long standing couple deal with a hard situation, with all the good, bad and ugly that can come with it.
Warnings: Explicit images, extremely disturbing images
Antichrist will be released theatrically in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on Friday November 13, 2009
See also: Antichrist DVD Review
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it more than expected
I'll not watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of dark films and harsh films
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© Shannon Ridler, 2009