The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
As you can tell from the poster, AND the fact that this movie is called "Antichrist", this is a highly controversial film from none other than one of the most controversial filmmakers of all time Lars von Trier. He's been known for making criticisms of American society despite the fact he's never been there (Dogville), crafts a love story about two forbidden lovers due to their religious beliefs (Breaking the Waves), and now, he's done it again by heading into the "torture-porn" genre. HOWEVER, I refuse to call this film torture-porn. Why? Because the torture and violence in this movie is not meant to be in any way "entertaining". If anybody finds the graphic images in this movie "erotic", they are just a sick twisted demented little **BLEEP**.
The film is composed of a prologue, 4 chapters, and an epilogue. It begins with the couple, only named He (Willem Dafoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg), making passionate love together. The sex in this movie is indeed, very X-Rated. While they're sexing things up to the music of opera, their young son finds his way out of his crib and explores. Tragically, and in slow motion, the son trying to look out of an open window, falls to his death while the two are still doing it.
She becomes grief stricken, and He, being a therapists, decides to treat her. He asks her what she fears the most, and She replies with "the woods". When He asks her what scares her about them, She replies with, "Everything." He decides to take her to a cabin in the woods, intentionally named "Eden" until she gets better. But in the traditional fashion of movies in which families go into isolated areas for a long while (The Shining), things start descending into madness as nature becomes alive.
von Trier, who said he was inspired to make this movie when he imagined a nature created by Satan, makes beautiful cinematography and a creepy, unnerving atmosphere. He perfectly succeeds at making nature feel like an evil entity. The film could be characterized as The Shining mixed with pseudo-religious symbolism, and graphic sex and even more graphic sexual violence. You can clearly see that he hasn't restrained his vision one bit, and came out with the movie he truly wanted.
The acting is what makes the movie truly work. Without it, the film wouldn't be as effective as it is. Willem Dafoe, who is always playing some pretty mad characters, is great as usual, but the real shining star is Charlotte Gainsbourg, who really takes insanity to a new level, with an emotionally shattering performance. She even won the best actress award when this movie was presented in the Cannes Film Festival.
Now a lot of critics have called this everything from "unneedingly graphic" to "misogynist". It is neither. Yes it is extremely graphic, but the film gets its shock from its graphic violence. It's not there for mere shock value, however, for it is integral to the symbolism and the story, which is about true unparalleled evil.
As for being accused of misogyny, well I disagree. However, I don't necessarily blame them. There are themes of misogyny, mostly evidenced in scenes where She talks about her thesis on Gynocide. But as always, it's just a movie, is a perfect excuse ^_^. It's not like the director himself is misogynist, but he isn't afraid to explore these themes.
So is the movie pretentious? Sometimes, unfortunately, yes. The film drags on through a lot of dialogue. Although that is not necessarily a bad thing, it kind of takes us away from the beautiful imagery, and creepy atmosphere. And those who've been wondering what was so controversial about the violence may be disappointed due to the fact that all of the blood comes at the last half hour. But this isn't a movie that should be about it's violence, or it's graphic sex, or its controversy. This is a movie that should be known for its unrelenting oppressive atmosphere, beautiful cinematography and imagery, amazing performances, and heavy serious symbolism. It's not torture porn, but it's better to be described as a psychological horror.
I'm gonna give it a 4.25/5. That's all for today, now if you'll excuse me, I need to get the images of deer fetuses, and testicle smashing out of my head. >_>