Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Review: "Dogtooth"

Sometimes, I wonder why I do this to myself. Like my initial viewing of Lars Von Trier's film Antichrist, I'm left in the wake of this movie not sure if I'm more intrigued, amazed, or disturbed by the events that have just passed before my eyes. However, there's no doubt that this is a film that I'm going to remember for a long time to come.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start you off with a small sense of what's going on before we enter into solid "What is going on?" territory. The story revolves around a small family (whose names are never stated) living in a compound where their children are essentially isolated from the rest of the world. They never venture outside the grounds, and a high fence prevents them from seeing anything beyond the borders of their home. The children (who aren't exactly children, as they look like they're in they're twenties) are taught things like the "sea" being a type of armchair and that a "zombie" is a kind of flower.

Strange, yes, but stay with me here. As a young man, the eldest son has certain... needs... that need to be sated. This brings us to our only named character, Christine. A co-worker at the factory where the father works, she is brought in from time to time to please the son. Sexually. Not wanting to go further into the story, I'll leave it at that, but simply add that sexual exploration and a lot of depravity are introduced into the story because of her.

The film, in terms of cinematography is beautifully shot. Each scene seems so realistic but, at the same time, retains an air of surreality, keeping the viewer off-kilter and ever-so unnerved about what might happen in the story. The compositions of shots are often strange, but makes the images and the movie all the more compelling.

Dogtooth is a film that raises far more questions than it has answers. For some this will be a massive point of frustration, leaving you bewildered and slightly pissed-off. But if you come in with the right frame of mind, I think you'll find a truly bizarre work of art that is thought-provoking... as well as balls-to-the-wall crazy.

I give this film an 8 out of 10. But a 10 out of 10 on the "WTF?!" scale.

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