MIFF Day 13: Antichrist

Antichrist (2009), Denmark, Lars Von Trier returns with controversial film that has divided audience since it's premiere at Cannes Film Festival early this year.   The one about Lars Von Trier film is you always get something to different and it will inspire discussion.

Antichrist opens with a graphic sex scene between a couple with nothing spared to the imagination and scored to a beautiful piece of classical music, as the couple screw the living daylights out of each outher and a young boy is seen avoiding every piece of child proofing known to man.  Unfortunately, the young boy finds his way to the desk alongside the window of their apartment.  The young boy finds his way to fall out the window and plunge to his death.  The opening scene is beautiful, haunting, graphic and just plain stupid.  In fact the opening scene sums up the entire film perfectly, expect to be thrilled, shock, engrossed and shaking your head at those moments when want to scream at the screen, "Lars what the hell are you doing - that was stupid!"

Antichrist is a contradiction in so many ways and I truly don't know whether to like this film or hate it!  I can honestly say that it is film I can not label easily.  The performances of William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are incredible and both deliver such complex and riveting range in their performance. The entire film revolves around the husband and wife's loss of their child.  Both character are incredible complex and both have character flaws which drives the drama.  Dafoe is cold, disconnected and condarsending towards his wife grief of the loss of their child.   Gainsbourg is an emotional, devastated and vicious towards her husband.

The couple retreat to a cabin in a remote forest to deal with their grief and the film gets into mysterical themes.  The atomsphere and the location are haunting with the characters undergoing a transformation.  As I have mentioned, Antichrist has many moments of incredibly stylized and beautiful scenes with underlying brilliant errie moments, then out of the blue something utterly stupid and unforgivable occurs that leaves the viewer shaking your head, "Why, Why - what is Lars thinking?"

The couple's relationship unravels in graphic violent conclusion, but Lar's always manages to pull the film back from incredible brilliance and slapping it down with another stupid moment.   Lar's is playing with some deeply confronting themes and concepts, but seemingly testing audience with poor decision or random moments of WTF.

Antichrist will be heralded by people has a piece of cinematic genius while others will dismiss it as rubbish.  I feel I am somewhere in the middle I enjoyed Antichrist but I felt let down by some poor directorial choices by Von Trier that took me out of the film basically made me laugh out loud at those absurd moments.   Antichrist is simply brilliant but flawed a little like most human beings when we are good, but when we are bad we can be down right evil.