Rarely does it happen that a film is so killingly boring, blatant in its ubiquitous and hideous violence and so galling in its tone as “Antichrist” by Lars Von Trier. The film becomes an exposure of damaged mental state of the director and a very worrying decline in self-respect of two leading actors. Even though Von Trier wanted to dig into an interesting idea of falling into perverse sex revelations as a way of copying with parental trauma, he ended up directing an utterly bad movie.
Nameless couple (Willem Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) are introduced to us, while they have intense sex in their bathroom. At the same time, their child falls out of a window, which eventually leads to a progressive collapse of the reality for both Him and Her. As they travel to an outcast cabin in a wood, both lose themselves in a sexual vanity and obsession, which oddly becomes their way of fighting each other.
Lar Von Trier’s imagination is beyond mine, but eventually, he really discouraged me from digging into his. There are some really dark, creepy places we should avoid, but Von Trier insisted to grab his hand and follow his path. Eventually, “Antichrist” is probably the biggest waste of fantastic directorial skills I have ever seen. Danish director’s cinematography is astonishing, the slow motion shots intensify the gruesome atmosphere and perfectly match the ambiguity of the director towards the storyline. Von Trier seems to be detached from his own story, playing with beautiful landscapes, visually attractive aspect of his movie just to bury it all in the mud he later adds.
“Antichrist” is vastly dissapointing in terms of screenwriting. Not only is the story ridiculously pointless and aimed at cheap shocking the audiences, but also relies on phylosophical depth resembling the one of Paulo Coelho. The dialogues are utterly boring, landing somewhere in the void, albeit Von Trier channels his efforts to make them sound sophisticated. The leading duo Gainsbourg & Defoe lacks the screen chemistry, although that could be purposeful – their love is reduced to take it out physically on each other…
“Antichrist” could be potentially a highly disturbing, yet engaging and artistic film about the brutal side of human nature. Our uncontrolled desires paired up with unimaginable, heart-wrecking pain seemed to be the inspiration for Von Trier, but instead of taking his time to create an intelligent poem about human flaws, he felt the need to visualize his disgusting images, hiding in his mind. As a consequence, “Antichrist” is not only appalling in way too many scenes, but it’s devastatingly shallow and naive.
Finally, trust me on this one – “Antichrist” is so deeply deranged and perverse not only visually, but also verbally, that it constitutes a threat to mentally healthy people. Lars Von Trier wrote the script, while struggling to get over an overwhelming depression, but I doubt it has led him to scenes with foxes eating out their own intestines or intense masturbating with a bloody final… Von Trier tried to push the line way too far and to ease the angered audience, his attempt was all covered up by amazing shots and editing. Nevertheless, “Antichrist” ends up as a ludicrous tale about a couple, which goes into very dark places with their grief and pain, but eventually – it’s a parade of visions from a derailed mind.
UMP Grade: 28,5/50
(Cinematography: 8.5, Plot: 2, Acting: 5, Soundtrack: 5, Quaintness: 8)