Not a very joyful way to start off the morning but I felt like it was the right time to talk about Lars von Trier’s Melancholia which is said to be inspired by his own depression. So you might already know what you are into when you are going to see this movie, the title gives it away pretty successfully in addition to the fact of inspiration.
My Melancholia experience was actually very interesting, it was my first time at that particular cinema. So I was excited but as the building was old and not well heated – I felt cold the entire time. In the sense of the movie though, the coldness was appropriate and actually added something to the atmosphere of the movie.
Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg represent two parts of this movie, Dunst plays the depressed fresh pride in part 1 and part 2 places the emphasis on the older sister played by Gainsbourg. Three male roles stand out – with Alexander Skarsgård as the groom, Kiefer Sutherland as the husband and Cameron Spurr (with his first ever acting role) as the son. There’s no secret I enjoyed Skarsgård and I even liked Sutherland’s performance as it left me with a surprise in the end. I don’t want to spoil it, I think that everybody should decide themselves if they want to see this visually stunning movie that was filmed in Sweden or not. I would say that if I had to choose, I’d pick part 1 as my favorite and give part 2 a bit lower score. Since the whole movie came together in the end of part 2 I’m not thrilled about it, I guess that’s the issue I have with part 2. Looking away from the bigger picture I think some brilliant characteristics showed by Dunst and Gainsbourg appear from the background and make the movie realistically better.
*Side note: I enjoyed the first part particulary due to Alexander Skarsgård’s appearance where he portrayed Dunst’s groom/husband. The chemistry between them was amazing even though they had to play different chemistries during their part. I found Skarsgård very sweet and light, much like his amnesia Eric in True Blood but in a different way and to be honest, I forgot he was Eric almost right at the beginning which says a lot about him as an actor. Dunst herself mastered the role brilliantly as well and when I think about the fact that Penelope Cruz was originally wanted as the bride I can’t imagine it at all. Luckily she had to drop out and Melancholia got its right lead and there’s no surprise she won the best actress at Cannes.
It is clear that this movie is artistic and it actually reminds me of movies from Estonia – dark and depressing story-lines and a movie that leaves the audience thinking after the movie is over. I am pretty sure that I was a bit depressed even, I honestly swear to god my mood was totally down for no good reason the next day and the day after that. Thinking back I think Melancholia might have had a bigger effect on me than I let on and this is a sign of a good movie right there.
IMDb has 7,9 for this and since it isn’t aired in the States yet I think the numbers might change a bit – America is much lighter with its movies and Europe tends to be more artsy and darker. And due to the fact I’m European I got the idea of the movie, I saw the beauty of it even though the over-all theme was ugly and even though the train of events was a bit too long and whining (but so is depression). I’m giving it a solid 4 out of 5. Could’ve gotten more but since I don’t want to give away any spoilers I can’t really speak of the thing that disappointed me the most.
This is also the reason why I added stills mainly from the first part of the movie.