Wednesday 19 August 2009

Antares [2004]

Gotz Spielmann, who won rave reviews for the extraordinary Revanche, earlier directed this equally stark and grim movie that, along with Revanche, manages to be highly indicative of his terrific grip over the medium. In fact, though not many might be able to appreciate this comparison, I’d say his choice of subject and storytelling bear striking similarity to Bengali auteur Rituparno Ghosh. Inspired by the narrative structure of Ameros Perros, Antares tells the interconnected tales of individuals brought together by a car accident. The movie, without ever taking a stance on the morality or motives of the characters, has managed to marvelously bring forth the lurking sadness and complexities in their seemingly mundane lives, and paint a wonderfully layered picture of the Austrian urban milieu. In fact, Vienna could very well be replaced with any metropolis of the world and yet the relevance of the story would remain the same, such is the universality of the themes of human loneliness and man’s futile attempts at connecting to someone, anyone, in hopes of not dying alone. The unrelentingly heavy subject matter, the languorous pacing that is quintessentially European Art Cinema, and the singular lack of any background score might be off-putting to many, but I found the movie far more gripping than most thrillers. And the fact that the acting is consistently first rate throughout made viewing the movie that much more engaging.

Director: Gotz Spielmann
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Urban Drama/Ensemble Film
Language: Austrian
Country: Austria

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