Melancholia: Art or an Endurance Fest?

Lars Von Trier’s film Melancholia challenged my endurance like no other film ever has.  What was billed as an artful masterpiece turned out to be a pretentious nightmare.  Before viewing the film I had done my research on Trier’s other films and read all about The Depression Trilogy.  Initially I was excited to see Melancholia to find out what all the fuss was about, but what I later found out while actually watching the film was that it was sadly all hype.

The entire begging of the film started my trial of patience as I had to endure the slow-motion, foreshadowing montage of events to come.  I understood that these scenes were important and connected to later events within the film, but as an opener it was jarring and confusing.  Another aspect of the film I thought to be unnecessary was the continuous shots of Kirsten Dunst completely naked.  I found myself distracted by the audacity of the staging rather than compelled by the character’s reasoning behind the nudity.  When the film shifted to the perspective of Dunst’s sister in the film Claire, it became even more difficult to endure (if you can believe it).

In this latter half, the events that led to the apocalypse were melodramatic, drawn-out, and frankly boring.  For example,  Claire’s slow, and I mean SLOW, decent into alarm as the end approached was, at times, impossible to watch.  The sad part of this was that I knew that the actress portraying Claire was good, but she was hindered by Trier’s compulsive need to make every breath and and motion something of a spectacle.

I appreciate films that are different and innovative but I believe Melancholia to be too different for its own good.  A more simplified story taken from this dreary version would be leaps and bounds more effective.

Do you feel this film’s story line to be too complex for its own good?  In what ways do you agree/disagree?



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