Where do I start? Deep breath. This latest deceptive drama from extravagant body horror maestro David Cronenberg is as expected, perplexing. It continues to astound throughout whilst asking questions the audience may or may not get answered.
I’ll begin by claiming, as a must see for many, unfortunately for others walk-outs will be imminent such as which notoriously occurred at, Cannes Film Festival.
Daring, obscure performance artist partners, Caprice (Lea Seydoux) alongside Saul (Viggo Mortensen) somewhat enjoy openly showcasing human organs to public galleries, then along comes government employee Timlin (a remarkably calculated, Kristen Stewart) who understands graphic surgery on display is the new sex.
Although claiming he’s ‘old’, she is turned on beyond her personal precipice by Saul who believes he is making art out of the traumas of others.
On the case of detecting people who have the capacity of eating plastic is vice cop (Welket Bungue) connecting Saul with the aforementioned offenders. It’s a continuous weird exchange whenever he is on screen.
Meanwhile, a pair of technicians who construct beds or chairs into skeletal frames designed to incorporate or morph people who use them, relaxing their bodies renewing their flesh and inner organs.
Questions are asked by a forceful radical, Lang (Scott Speedman) who wants humanity to sync up with dual technology. Pain may be a thing of the past.
Psychologically the film is hard to grasp, from comedic to serious, resistant to change and evolution is explored with images speaking louder than words at times. Cronenberg is always tricky to enjoy, classics The Fly (1986) Naked Lunch (1991) or Videodrome (1983) among many others including underseen, Maps to the Stars (2014) have unique qualities, daring and feverish, rarely not unsettling.
Characters seemingly are rarely on the same page, Stewart in particular has chosen to remain expansive but I think always amazing, including her robotic voice pattern which takes some getting used to.
Seydoux is irresistible, Mortensen inspired.
Sadly the film is too slow.
Whilst kicking off with an opening credit bang, music. succulent cinematography combining to arouse throughout the first hour, the unusual end will divide many.
Drama, Horror | Canada, 2022 | 18 | 9th September 2022 (UK) | Cinema | Vertigo Releasing | Dir.David Cronenberg | Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Welket Bungue, Don McKellar, Lihi Kornowski
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