Thursday, 31 December 2009
Antichrist might not be Lars von Trier’s best movie, but it might just be the one he would like to be remembered by. This movie has world cinema’s enfant terrible at his most unapologetically and unflinchingly provocative – a movie that has divided the house right down the middle. Technically the movie belongs in the horror genre; but any work by the Danish provocateur never really sticks to any genre conventions, in the same way that he gives the feather to the fact that moralists love to scorn him, as here, for his disturbing, often shocking, and at times even outrageous display of explicit sexual content, violence, nihilism, and misogyny (the latter, quite inappropriately, always seems to be stuck to his movies). Yet, for all its detractors, the movie is also an audacious, angry, disturbing wildly inventive, and even deeply poetic exposition and unraveling of the darkest corners of the human psyche. In fact, the movie’s prologue, shot in slow-mo black-and-whites, was to me filmmaking at its most ravishingly beautiful and devastating. Charlotte Gainsbourg, as a woman inconsolably grieving her infant son’s death, and William Defoe, as a psychotherapist and her not-so-grieving husband who takes his wife on as his patient, are fearless and brilliant. As a reviewer rightly put it, Antichrist is a movie that is to be experienced rather than explained. And that, had Alfred Hitchcock been alive, he would have loved to make this movie himself.
Director: Lars von Trier
Genre: Horror/Psychological Drama/Religious Drama