Monday, March 31, 2014

Nymph()maniac Vol. I and Vol. II


Director: Lars von Trier
With: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård, Shia Labeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen, Hugo Speer, Felicity Gilbert, Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, Michaël Pas

Let me start this writeup by sharing their ridiculous chant: "MIA VULVA MIA MAXIMA VULVA"

That and more is in store for you in this film.

This movie is manufactured for every sexually driven person...NOT. If you're interested to see this because of sex and explicitness then think again. You won't get disappointed because it's filled with naked people having sexual intercourse, but trust me when I say that it will be overwhelming and definitely not in a good way. That is unless if you're into hardcore mindfuckage and madness, but if you're not, I've warned you. You better prepare if you're curious about the film.

I should have seen this coming because after all, it's directed and written by Lars von Trier. But prepared or not, I think it would astound a lot of people.

Not devoid of art for sure. It has a lot of intriguing and absurd metaphors, a chockful of gimmicks are present as well, but other than that it's extremely painful to watch. People are saying that Steve McQueen's Shame is hard to watch? Try this because it's nothing compared to this. And to be quite honest, I don't find Shame that dark anyway so I guess it isn't a good comparison but both tackled sex addiction as their theme except this one is in a whole new level.

It's pure visual sadism. If you want to experience visual sadism (which I just made up), then this is the party for you.

Pretty sure that this would easily make Buzzfeed and other websites' lists of most disturbing films. I knew I would if I'd make any. It's up there with Salò and Cannibal Holocaust. So... :/

Nymph()maniac Volume I

Volume I is more bearable than the second. It focused on the first half of the life of Joe, the protagonist of the film. Joe is a girl by the way, and the young Joe was portrayed by a modelesque actress Stacy Martin who is very reminiscent of Eva Green in The Dreamers.

The whole movie is about Joe's life as a nymphomaniac and it was being narrated by the old Joe played by LVT's "depression trilogy" muse, Charlotte Gainsbourg. She's telling her story to Seligman played by Stellan Skarsgård. Seligman took Joe to his loft after seeing her beat up in an alley.

When Joe regained her energy and sense, her and Seligman talked. A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, she started her story from the beginning of her sexual awakenings to what got her in the alley. Seligman matched it with questions and his own stories as well. Joe provided the nympho story and Seligman provided the metaphorical heavy aspect of the film.

I must say that they have good chemistry. It turned out be necessary for the build up of their character's relationship which peaked in the second volume. I thought Gainsbourg's way of narration was kind of more suitable in a documentary film though, so I wasn't totally impressed. Her acting chops was showcased well however in Volume II.

Gotta love Joe's story when she was young. Love the Lust vs Love aspect and how she struggled to cope up with it. It channels a little sexiness to the film's horrific vibe.

Another thing it has are familiar actors and I like that. It has young Philomena and ironically she's a slut in this film. From being a saint-like character to this, way to go! LOL But she's a gorgeous slut and a decent actress. It also has Uma Thurman who acted her ass off. Her character is ridiculous and crazy and I love it. Spilling the truthpaste everywhere she goes. She had one of the fewest airtime in this film but she managed to be my favorite in this huge ensemble.

This volume also has a penis montage and it's plain cringeworthy and disgusting. I felt like LVT was trolling at this part of the film. I mean, why??? He's obviously torturing his viewers. Very unnecessary but like I said, he's a troll.

Its ending defined my judgment of the film. Great but just not my cup of tea. It has a great impact but it's nothing compared to Volume II's ending.

Nymph()maniac Volume II

Volume II is much more powerful to me but that doesn't say much because I'm not really into both of these films. Its ending, like I mentioned earlier, defined the entire movie. It's one that would stay in you like a nightmare which I think is LVT's sinister plan for the film.

On one hand, I appreciate the fact that it provided a huge impact but on the other hand, I don't like the impact. Tewewew.

Volume II gives a lot of light to what happened to Joe at the end of Volume I and yes, I used the term light but what occurred to her was actually dark and depressing. The actions Joe took to solve her itch for lustful sensation was barbarous. It would challenge you if you're going to continue or just get over it. It would make you question yourself why you are watching it.

If you're a fan of Jamie Bell then you might like this volume because he took a distinctly strong but kind of insane character in this film, something completely different and he was very impressive in committing to that role. His character is an instrument to Joe's sanity but he treats her like a slave during the process. I must say that his chapter is one of the hardest chapters to watch because it involves graphic sadism. It was disgusting just thinking about it.

But other than Jamie Bell's chapter, everything about this volume is actually brutal but all of them serve as a great buildup to the end of the film which ironically also gives sense to the beginning of the whole movie.

And I keep on gushing about the ending but it's really the part that made this whole torturous movie have sense. It's like the reward for the neverending explicit scenes except not really, because the sense I'm talking about is probably the most haunting part of this whole thing.

It's disturbing but it's also the reason why I have an ounce of appreciation for this film. Reminds me of Martyrs' ending, a completely different movie but both have great disquieting effect that makes you want to discuss it with people.

LVT's intention and vision was solid and clear throughout the film for this ending to work so well. It's really like an April Fool's joke thinking about it but I appreciate it. It's a good and memorable twist. Would I sit through this film again? Probably not. Would I recommend it to my friends? I guess so but I'll let them know to take into consideration that this would corrupt their beautiful minds in an ugly way.