Thursday, April 02, 2009


Who could resist a film with Emmanuelle Béart? Not me. But this film it was a hard to swallow experience because the drama turned into horror almost at the end and that was too much for me to watch (and enjoy). But the drama part of the story that lasts two thirds is compelling, attention grabber and quite well performed by Béart and Rufus Sewell.

This Fabrice Du Welz first foray into English-language filmmaking tells about a couple that cannot accept that their son died at the 2005 tsunami because they never found his body. So the mother Jeanne (Béart) is obsessed with the idea the he’s been kidnapped by traffickers and when she watches a video where “sees” her son, they decide to go to an isolated and abandoned part of Thailand (Burma) to look for him.

The film is loosely structured in three acts with the first introducing the story until they start the voyage to Thailand; the second is the voyage and the third is when they are in Vinyan. Is the nightmarish third act that really killed the movie for me, not only because it is horrific but also because the fantasy was too fantastic for me to believe, especially after the first two raw and realistic thrilling drama acts.

But the film totally belongs to Béart since the very first time she’s on the screen and if it weren’t for her truly amazing scenes in the third act, I probably would have stopped watching; but I didn’t even when what is happening at times is really revolting. Also it helped a lot that cinematography is exceptional and the hallucinatory visuals plus the infectious score definitively are stronger than the actual gore. Still, please do not forget that some scenes are very disturbing.

I imagine that if you enjoy the horror genre perhaps you will like this movie, but I also imagine that the first two acts will be too long for most horror lovers; still the last part of the second act that totally merges into the third act could compensate for the long drama moments.

I do recommend this movie only to those that have-to-see the amazing performances by Emmanuelle Béart that definitively in this movie is outstanding and shows her extremely beautiful in many takes, including some very talk-about nude and bikini scenes.

By the way if you’re wondering what Vinyan means, is "an errant soul that torments the alive". Gee, if I knew the meaning I probably would have skipped the movie, but then I would have missed watching the amazing Béart performance.


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