Mr Loony's encounter with Melancholia

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 01, 2012 09:54 hrs

TV has long since fried his brain. Mr Loony now lives in a basement, spending his waking hours watching films and talking about them. To his imaginary friends. Hmm.

A Feature Presentation

The last time I emerged from the shadowy depths of my basement, I saw Another Earth. Needless to say, I found the appearance of a duplicate Earth in the sky quite unnerving. So here I am, back in my basement, watching Melancholia.

Melancholia, it turns out, is a disaster film of sorts. The opening montage shows the Earth being destroyed in a collision with another planet. If you are left wondering if a giant spacecraft symbolizing a modern-day Noah’s Ark manages to take off before our homeworld is blown into smithereens, it does not happen. This is a Lars von Trier film. His previous work Antichrist was an emasculating experience. Melancholia is his deconstruction of depression.

Here is a film that shows you two sisters, polar opposites of each other in character, one spontaneous in emotion and the other restrained, and the difference in the way in which they deal with the news of impending doom. Look out for a standout performance from Kirsten Dunst as the lead character Justine, supported adequately by Charlotte Gainsbourgh, playing the responsible sister Claire.


Incidentally, the director caused a considerable controversy at the Cannes festival, where the film premiered, when he responded to a question about his German roots. “I understand Hitler…Okay, I’m a Nazi,” he reportedly replied, in jest, though it did not go down well with the audience. Kirsten Dunst, seated next to him, is seen to be quite taken aback at his remarks.

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