Friday, August 5, 2022

Melancholia (2011) directed by Lars von Trier


A moody slow paced film with some very compelling performances, especially by Kirsten Dunst and small character roles by Slammer favourites like John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling and Udo Kier. Kiefer Sutherland also reminds us what a good actor he can be, even in a support role. 

The story revolves around two sisters, one with depression issue who is getting married at her sister's and brother-in-law's estate which goes all wrong by the end of the night. It is revealed that a rouge planet is heading towards the earth and will have a close fly by in a very short period of time. Sutherland's character who owns the estate is studying the event and tells everyone not to worry while at the same time secretly  buying water and gas. As the planet grows in the sky tension rise and fall and it finally becomes undeniable that the planet will strike the earth, destroying the planet. 

Things to love about this film are multitude. I think showing that the earth is destroyed in the opening sequence adds to the tension within the small group of characters. That small group in an isolated estate is also a brilliant move. We never see or know what is happening in the larger world. While Dunst's character is shown as a woman suffering form severe depression, she is also, especially in the end the most accepting of her and the world's fate and sets up a very touching, loving way for her, her sister and her nephew to face the inevitable. 

Technically a disaster film, I guess, but not one with large scale destruction. Instead it focusing on smaller scale destruction of relationships and emotional states while at the same time giving us some scary yet beautifully poetic images of the coming apocalypse. The effects are sparse, simple and veery well done s as not to distract from what is happening. 

It might be a little slow or even a little "artsy" for some people but I found it very involving and poetic. 

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