If there was one movie that would “disturb” for years to come, this would be it. Feel good movie fans, you may pass on this one. Artsy fans, read on! We have a feeling this might just be your thing.
Released in 2011, “Melancholia” is a depressingly beautiful Lars von Trier film. Starring fresh-out-of-her-Spiderman-role Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgård, the story revolves around a struggle against what is to come – and what is to come is not your average fairy tale.
The first seven minutes of painstakingly planned and shot images of sadness will either leave you confused or anticipating a film that will not end well. Then, the first half of the story line kicks off with an introduction to Justine (played by Kristen Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). The “just married” duo are at a wedding party, their wedding party, in the home of Justine’s sister, Claire (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law, John (played by Kiefer Sutherland).
Everything seems fine and well until evidently, Justine starts falling apart at a rapid pace. Her emotions swell and she starts “losing it” – and not in a good, marriage celebratory way. From what we gather, Justine spent a lot of time trying to hold in her (beautifully conveyed) depression but like threads that unravel at seams, she soon came loose and ends up running away from the party at every opportunity.
Even if it means turning down her husband, Michael’s advances and sleeping with a random colleague in a sandpit. Yup. All that happens in a quickened pace while somewhere in outer space, a planet named Melancholia is heading towards Earth. With that in mind, Justine breaks down mentally and emotionally.
And so starts the second half of the story.
Michael leaves her before the party’s over, and Claire and John decides to take her in. Of course, when Justine is placed in between them, they seem like the only normal people in the story line. But even normal people shudder at the acknowledgement that a giant celestial rock is about to demolish Earth upon impact.
Soon, Claire and John start to get sucked into the black hole of depression too:
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Truth be told, von Trier has made the lives of the characters and even life as we know it seem meaningless when striped of depth. Or rather, when the realization that all life will eventually come to an end whether by an abrupt catastrophic disaster (read: Melancholia planet) or by a natural process. In terms of its cinematic composition, however, only Lars von Trier can make depression look so beautiful – with handheld surreal shots and a colour treatment to match. But the pace of the film is so slow that it burns into you.
It’s no surprise that the epic film has since gone on to bag awards and nominations at many of the world’s most notable award shows and film festivals (e.g. Cannes Film Festival, Bodil Awards, Australian Film Institute, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA).
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.
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