Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Kept in the dark, unsure of what is going on, the orchestral score running deep into the pit of your stomach before you’re caught off guard by a striking image, a beating heart (I think anyway, I don’t know anatomy) open in surgery, horrifying but beautiful at the same time. The opening scene of The Killing of a Sacred Deer gives you all you need to know about Yorgos Lanthimos’s new film.

I could end my review now, but I’ll try and put into words my experience of this film without spoiling the story, this is really one you want to go in to with a blank slate. The basic premise is ‘A Teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family take an unexpected turn.’

If you saw The Lobster (and if you haven’t it’s on Netflix, you should see it) then you will know that Yorgos Lanthimos likes to make weird films and this one is no exception. The joy of this film is not knowing what’s going on and trying to figure out from every image and every small tick from the characters on screen, what on earth you’re actually watching. You’re left in the dark for a lot of it as it goes from surreal drama to a plot you might see in a Batman film before it’s tense and jaw clenching final act.

The cast of this film are incredible, the three mains being Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan. Keoghan who was last seen in Dunkirk gets a lot more screen time here to show off his acting chops, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him after his performance in this film. Like I said before though, the whole cast is on top form, fully investing you in the characters, all relishing in Lanthimos’s dead pan style.

The cinematography is crisp, clean and an awe to look at, pushed along with this loud orchestral score that’s terrifying to behold as it comes through when the tension is at breaking point. It reminded me of one of my other favourite films this year, Raw, with its horror nature mixed with the surreal. It’s a delight to watch even if it could have been a tad shorter but not all of these kinds of films are as easy to watch, be invested and lose yourself in it.

The Killing of a Scared Deer carries on the trend of great cinema in 2017, if you can take a bit of surreal with your film watching then go see this one in the cinema ASAP. I’m rating it a 4.5/5.

Have you seen it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049

I’ve returned from my travels and ready to do some more blogging! Today I’m going to review Blade Runner 2049 but I’m going to talk about the whole day I had dedicated to it. Yes, my friend and I decided to have a Blade Runner day and re-watch the original before going in to see its sequel.

The original Blade Runner is a weird film, it revolutionised the way films and culture in general envisioned the future but never actually did that well in the box office. It acquired a large cult following of fans with many heralding it as one of the greatest films ever made.

However, I don’t believe this to be the case. In fact, my first ever viewing of this film I thought it was quite boring, technically amazing but lacking in story and a compelling main character. Upon a re-watch, I found that I actually enjoyed it a lot more, I’ve matured in some of my tastes and developed an interest in philosophy within film but my initial gripes were still there. It’s a good film but maybe just a tad overrated. I originally wasn’t excited at the prospect of a sequel, well not until Denis Villeneuve and Ryan Gosling were attached as Director and main lead.

Villeneuve is one of the most interesting directors around at the moment, I’ve loved most of his films, especially Arrival, and teamed with his cinematographer Roger Deakins they are a cinematic force to be reckoned with. As shown again in 2049, which honestly might be one of the most beautiful looking films this year, if not the decade. Yes, I loved Blade Runner 2049. It amplified everything good about the original, took away everything bad and made an incredible sequel to a good film. I hope this film teaches Hollywood a lesson on how to make sequels.

There was so much depth to this film, the characters are three dimensional, compelling and you actually care for them. Gosling plays it down but the subtleties in his performance really take your breath away in the films more compassionate moments. Everybody in the cast is doing a great job and I was really taken aback by the performances of Ana de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks who were unknown to me before this film.

The story moves along a lot more swiftly, still slow but a lot more engaging that you barely notice the two hour forty run time. The philosophical musings are still present and are the emotional core of the film, better articulated than the original and they branch off into a lot more territories. The main themes of the original are explored further and it really creates some great questions about what life is.

The world of Blade Runner is a place that is great to watch on the big screen, the dystopian smoky cities looming large, explored more this time as well as taking trips to more remote areas of this well envisioned universe. The cinematography of these places looks gorgeous and the loud and lingering score elevates this images to new heights, you really need to see this film on the big screen.

It’s really difficult to review this film without giving away spoilers, even the plot itself is better left unknown as it kicks off pretty fast and takes you on a wild ride of twists and turns. Just go see this film, if you like Sci-Fi that is taken seriously then this is one for you, it’s just a bonus that its presented to you by some of the best people working in the industry. I’m giving Blade Runner 2049 a 5/5. A serious contender for best film of the year. 

What did you think? Masterpiece or slow and boring? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!