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February 17, 2011

Movie Review: Antichrist (2009)

Alright, after being sick for weeks with bronchitis I’m sort of ready to do a new review. Having enjoyed several of Lars von Trier’s movies, such as “Dancer in the Dark” and “Breaking the Waves” I was intrigued when I saw “Antichrist” sitting there on sale. I immediately grabbed it, and took it home expecting the best. I sat down with my boyfriend, who not knowing much of Trier’s work was interested mainly in the movie based on the title. Here we were expecting what had been promised “a disturbing movie”, and as anyone will tell you I am always up for the “disturbing.”

Buy Antichrist on DVD or Blu-ray

First things first, the cinematography was beautiful. I obtained the Criterion Collection DVD which was just outstanding with it’s’ use of color and imagery. But, in the first scene Trier’s implores and overuses the aspect of slow motion to an extreme extent. Now, I have no problem with sex scenes but having to see Williem Defoe’s penis up close and personal in slow motion thrusting in and out was something I could have lived my whole life without seeing. Nevertheless, the black and white scene and its use of water was very beautiful. I could have done without the slow mo though.

Suddenly, after the first scene we are brought into what seems to be reality and color takes over. I hate to give anything away because I really do believe that everyone should see this movie, if only to see what sort of story they take from it but after the death of their son the entire story takes on a mythological sense of development. Trier’s uses every aspect from theology to sociology to the abuse and mutilation of women to try and make his point. But, what exactly is his point and after a while do we really care?

Even as the ending was coming around the corner, and nothing seemed to have happened yet it was as if Trier’s knew that he was in trouble and decided that he should maybe try to push the envelope and add some violence to his picture. Saying that the violence seems forced and contrived as one spouse tries to take out the other. I wasn’t even sure why they started to attack each other in the first place. It just seemed as if it was too little too late, and even though the amount of blood was at a good level when Williem Dafoe tries to kill his wife Charlotte Gainsbourg we are left with the question of why has this gone so far.

Don’t get me wrong I did like it. I just wish that with such an inspiring title there would have been more to it. I mean, in the end we aren’t even given an idea of who the “antichrist” might have been. I believe it to be the wife since we are given a quick glimpse of her seeing her son crawling towards the open window which he falls from and dies, but she never stopped having sex with her husband. Which makes you wonder, is Trier exploring sexuality? Is sex the “antichrist?” I ask this because the idea of and fascination with sex revolves around the entire movie. I mean Gainsbourg is made out to be a nymphomaniac in her constant desire for her husband, played by Williem Dafoe. In the movie, Trier’s explains her propensity for wanting to have sex continually by stating that it is a part of the grief process but I wonder if there is just more to it than we are originally supposed to think.

I would definitely suggest this movie for a lazy afternoon, perhaps when you are sick, with a loved one. It has a great deal of promise, and it might make you glad that your relationship isn’t quite as messed up. Plus, if you really become inspired by the film you might do what I did and research every little thing that it involved from the talking fox to the evil cabin in the woods to the horrific and brutal cutting and sawing that occurs later on. I just wish that it had more blood, and guts and that in the end when Gainsbourg is being roasted on her pyre one could explain the countless shadows of women that appear to be coming out of the forest to attack her husband especially if she was initially at fault. Please, let me know what you think about this one!!! Thanks and Happy Watching!!!

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