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Thursday, April 10, 2014

BASTARDS (IFC DVD) - Warning: This Movie May Make You Sad.

Wanna watch a movie that is will absolutely not make you feel good? It’s filled with strange sexual brutality, depression, hopeless attempts to fix people who do not want to be fixed and the seediest of wealthy underbellies of society this side of Eyes Wide Shut. I gotta tell you that watching Bastards from MPI as directed by acclaimed filmmaker Claire Denis was a rough go. It was not enjoyable. I hope to not watch it again, but it was an experience worth having with some truly excellent performances that conveyed quite clearly the feelings of despair and hopelessness that actually exist when we try to mend the wounded.

Synopsis from IFC:

Following his brother-in-law's suicide, sea captain Marco (Vincent Lindon,Friday Night, upcoming in Diary of a Chambermaid) goes AWOL to rescue his estranged sister and teenaged niece (Lola Creton, Goodbye First Love, Something in the Air) from the captive power of a wealthy businessman, who is also his lover's (Chiara Mastroianni, A Christmas Tale, Beloved) husband. But Marco's attempt at heroism is soon thwarted on all sides, as he delves further into the hellish world his sister has involved herself in, and deception from those he trusted most threatens to upend his very belief in the concept of honor.

Trailer:


The whole thing is dark as in shot dark. I found some of the scenes exceptionally difficult to actually tell what was going on. That is had a twofold effect, one I was trying to figure out if I was missing something in translation (Bastards is in French). The other effect was that the very real feeling of despair was imparted on my eyes like a man searching for a light switch in a twilit room. There’s a chance you’ll pull the chain on the lamp, and it will go on, but with my luck it won’t go on and the search for the doorknob can begin. Thus is born the metaphor for my feelings toward Bastards. As a reached for a hopeful conclusion, a positive outcome, I began to realize through some telltale signs and hints that nothing good could come from the sexual misadventures of youth when fed and nurtured. I waited for the end of the film, patiently, but still with fingers crossed. We won’t spoil it, but there are no happy endings, ever, in pictures like this one. Maybe if it had truly been a horror movie you’d at least get the Ms. 45/I Spit on Your Grave rape/revenge angle to save you. Do not expect salvation. No door knobs in this dark room.

It’s not the most shocking picture I’ve seen, but it did manage to get under my skin.
The performances from all involved were riveting, easily with which to identify and sympathize. There faces are memorable. Each performer showing their age and pain and chaos right on their faces.  Once you’ve made the connection with the players, you’ll be forced to save them if that’s even remotely an option.

This release only features a trailer, but looks good if you can get past the darkness. In a word… Bastards is bleak. It is misanthropic. It does not care about you.

Bastards is available to order now.


-Doc Terror

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