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film fest gent - officiele selectie
after an exquisite opening scene depicting the polish equivalent of american black friday the film goes downhill, and it goes downhill fast. the opening is a hilarious statement piece, showing people's greed in a vulgar yet darkly funny way. the film effectively combines critique on society with biting humor, a combination the rest of the film wants but fails to have.
after the opening scene the film becomes a tonal mess wanting to be both a comedy and drama, none of which it executes, well leaving the viewer wondering how to feel during any particular scene. when a film plays with drastic tonal shifts, the writing needs to be impeccable and the narrative needs to create a character that will work in both scenarios. this film has characters that fit neither tone completely, characters that are tonally stuck somewhere in the middle. this creates ‘comedic scenes that feel awkward and emotional scenes that lack a profound sense of empathy.
i dare to bring up one of my favorite films that switches genres constantly without it ever feeling jarring. the key that makes ‘love exposure such a great film that is able to put its characters in a so many situations both comedic and dramatic is because the characters are well rounded people whose emotions dont fit just one tone. compare this to the main character from this film who we know nearly nothing about, well he likes metal and loves a girl we also know nothing about, is almost written like a comedic character and when he is suddenly thrown in dramatic scene the two tones clash. sometimes the film even undercuts its own dramatic core by letting the side characters act in a completely different tone than the main character without the surrounding scene being built around that.
the direction mainly lacks focus, when going for a comedic scene the film fails to commit to it, while the dramatic scenes have a dramatic buildup but the climax is played for laughs and thus failing to create any emotion, at the very least with me. how can a film that fails to commit expect any sort of commitment from its viewer?
presentation wise the film again shows early promise. using depth of field to change focus on various people who are waiting to enter the shop before all hell breaks loose. the film however seems to have a strange fetish if it comes to the use of depth of field. i kid you not almost every shot uses depth of field without any clear purpose, and it quickly becomes jarring to eyes and not very pleasant to look at.
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