Melancholia (2011)
Gravity, atmosphere, space and a big ending
6 February 2015
This seemed to me a very emotional yet restrained film about which I really didn't know what to think at first. It left me dissatisfied, perhaps feeling slightly cheated, but also feeling that there was more there than I could quite grasp. I gather from other reviews the film struck a chord with some who have suffered depression: I am, then, lucky to not quite get it, as my down moments are not so absolute.

Yet there was an engagement of the senses in the film while at the same time a disengagement of the sense of time and of the sense of reality. This unrealism set in a large venue with so many people had, for me, some resonances of Last Year at Marienbad. There were moments where the flooding with late Classical music and the sight of planetary objects perhaps alluded to the slow dance-like scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey and there were, no doubt, other allusions I missed. The film maker uses these motifs like colour washes to cast a vague background landscape to the disturbed and disturbing characters and relationships played out in the foreground.

I found all of the said characters unsatisfying and irritating which was, of course, the point of them. The script seemed unremarkable. The music I had to turn down when it flooded in so as not to wake the neighbours! Yet the whole was beautifully shot and had a poise that felt pregnant with a meaning I couldn't quite reach.

Lars Von Trier remains for me difficult, even irritating, but has shown himself again, with Melancholia, to be consistently interesting.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

Recently Viewed