Saturday, October 03, 2009
It's been reported that Lars Van Trier was in a terrible depression when he wrote the screenplay for "Antichrist". Making the film may or may not have been cathartic for him, but his state of mind at the time is clearly visible on the screen. This is clearly the work of a man trying to deal with his personal demons.
On the surface, it's a simple story of a man (Willem Dafoe) and his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) trying to deal with the aftermath of their young son's death. The film is basically just the two characters who retreat to a remote cabin in the woods to deal with their loss. Both actors give remarkable performances, raw, powerful and not easily forgotten.
What lies below the surface will either astound you or repulse you (probably both). Visually, Mr. Van Trier has literally painted an unforgettable portrait of pain, grief, and despair. The film is divided into a prologue, multiple chapters, followed by an epilog. As it progresses, it takes the viewer to places you may not want to go. This film is not for the squeamish but if you enjoy challenging cinema, it is not to be missed.