Group Stages – Round 1: Antichrist (DEN) vs BYE (CMR)
by Nicholas Robinson
The first half: A couple loses their young son when he falls out the window while they have sex in the other room. The mother’s grief consigns her to hospital, but her therapist husband brings her home intent on treating her depression himself. To confront her fears they go to stay at their remote cabin in the woods, “Eden”, where something untold happened the previous summer. Told in four chapters with a prologue and epilogue, the film details acts of lustful cruelty as the man (Willem Dafoe) and woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) unfold the darker side of nature outside and within. – IMDB.com
When I said I was going to watch this movie to introduce me to Denmark and to Lars von Trier, I was warned by my brother that this movie was extremely fucked up. I told him that there is no way that it could be worse than what I saw in Audition. Boy was I wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a good movie, it is just EXTREMELY fucked up. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie. There is a good story and some really good acting but it is really fucked up.
The story is good. It shows how a grieving couple, when just give a few days alone can be driven to madness by the very grief that drew them to the woods in the first place. The story was divided very well into four chapters, a prologue and an epilogue using the constellations known to some as “The Three Beggars” as a theme with one beggar in each of the first three chapters and all three in the last one. My favourite parts of the movie were the prologue and the epilogue, not necessarily in what they contained, but how they displayed it. The silenced cast with music in the background was very good.
There are two (and only two by the way, it’s a three person movie) great performances given by Willem Dafoe as the husband whose interest in his wife is renewed when her grief begins to affect her mental and physical well being and Charlotte Gainsbourg as the grieving wife and mother who goes mad during the movie. I am sure that if it weren’t for these two performances, this movie would have probably been complete shit.
I really like the use of black and white imagery in the prologue along with the silenced cast and opera music in the background as a way to portray what is happening in the movie. In the prologue, it shows how distracted the parents are as their son falls out the window. In the epilogue, it shows… to be honest I have no idea what the hell the epilogue meant but it looked good and intrigued me, which is good.
The real problem with this movie is that it is EXTREMELY FUCKED UP as I have constantly said. There are some images in this movie that I will never be able to get out of my head. It was so bad that I had to stop in the middle of Chapters three and four because I couldn’t handle it in one go. I suggest that you take the precautions of being tipsy and having a vomit bucket/bag nearby when you watch this film.
Overall, this is an extremely fucked up movie that is good but should be watched with extreme caution.
IMDB says 6.7/10
RT says 48%
I say 8.0/10
The second half: Cameroon has been designated as a bye team and so automatically receives a score of 0/10
The result: Denmark wins. Denmark 8 – 0 Cameroon