- Foreign Language Film
A review by moviegirl
This film was only 96 minutes long. After the first 20 minutes, I was still waiting to find out what the point of the movie was. After 40 minutes (almost halfway), I still had no idea. After an hour, I fast-forwarded through to the end.
Since I have no idea how to describe it, here’s the blurb from oscar.com:
The three children of a factory manager have been raised in complete isolation, spending their lives shut up in the family’s house and learning only their mother and father’s bizarre version of the outside world. As they enter adulthood, however, the three begin to test the boundaries imposed by their parents’ unrelenting and often cruel domination.
Honestly, this movie is why people hate foreign films. Other than the occasional angry outburst, everything is weirdly emotionless despite the physically and emotionally abusive parents, incest, self-mutilation, and animal cruelty. There’s also full frontal nudity as well as a surprising bit of actual porn. It’s all very… European.
What is particularly unsatisfying about this movie is that we have no idea why the parents have chosen to abuse their children like this — both through isolation and misinformation (they affirmatively teach them the wrong meaning of words, for example) and also actual physical abuse. Also unexplained is how they can possibly afford this lifestyle on one person’s salary from the factory, or why they have absolutely no connections to the outside world (do the parents not have any family at all? no friends?). It’s possible that all of this was revealed in the part of the movie I didn’t watch, but after reading the synopsis on wikipedia, I think it probably wasn’t.
I truly don’t know why movies like this get made. The only message seems to be that if you shut your children up in a tower, it will end badly for everyone. Isn’t that something we knew already?
I think that there is no way that this film can win against Biutiful, which I think is the front-runner. And after seeing (some) of it, I think that it shouldn’t win, either. It’s curently available streaming on Netflix, so you can be the judge. At least you’ll be able to hit “back to browsing” and move on if your experience is anything like mine.