Thursday, March 4, 2010
Martyrs (2008) Dir. by Pascal Laugier
First I was like Wow, then I was like ah cute, then I was like Huh?, then I was like What the f**k?! That's about how my viewing went. What a movie! I have spotted a couple reviews of this movie, and some said they could predict the ending from the very beginning. Those people are liars. That movie was so intense. Just when you think you have a grip on what is going on, they slam you with some new piece of information.
The movie is essentially about two girls, Anna (Morjana Alaoui) and Lucie (Mylene Jampanoi). Lucie escaped from torture when she was little, and still haunted by the things that happened to her. Anna is basically her best friend, and wants to be there every step of the way for her. Fifteen years after escaping, Lucie has tracked down the people that tortured her, and wants to take her well deserved revenge. The results of her actions, pulls the two girls deeper into something they never saw coming.
First off, the acting in this movie is some of the best acting I have ever seen. The two girls especially, as they are as close to flawless as I think you can get. The loving caring Anna almost polar opposite to the angry tortured Lucie, and yet they fit together like a screwed up jigsaw puzzle. They pretty much carry the film, which is a good thing since the entire film is basically just about the two of them. There is something about the way they play off each other. Lucie believes she is doing the right thing, and has a one track mind toward her vengeance. She believes it will free her. Anna is terrified at what Lucie is doing, but she feels so strongly about Lucie (Love, and maybe lover?), that she will do anything it takes to save her.
Im pretty tired of this movie being compared to Saw and Hostel. The only thing they have in common is there is a bit of gore. This is an emotional roller coaster of what humans are capable of, only set to the background of torture. There are no bounds when dealing with human depravity, as this movie will show you. Everyone always has the capacity to create and destroy. This movie may cover the extremes on both ends, but it does it in a believable manner. The pain and suffering that someone will endure to remain alive is breathtaking. Watching this movie I felt like a deer in the headlights. I just couldn't look away. While most of the scenes are not actually that gory, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. The emotion put into the story and characters kept butterflies in my stomach. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. There was no way I could ever guess what was going to happen.
The movie threw twist after twist at me. There was a point around fifty minutes into the movie where I felt like the movie had ended. I thought how could this possibly continue after the events that had transpired. I was blown away by what happened next, and this happened multiple times. Martyrs seemed to cover action, romance, horror, drama (oh lordy there was drama), and even a hint of science fiction. Martyrs is like a messed up movie pot pie, and those were the ingredients.
The writing on this movie seemed to be close to perfect. My only bone to pick with it is the main character in Pascal's last movie Saint Ange was Anna Jurin, and in this movie if you combine Anna with Lucie Jurin, look what you get. I don't know, I just don't like repetition of characters names from film to film, if they are not the same character. The pacing on the film was brilliant, just when it started to slow down, it picked back up again. I will admit some of the gore was done pretty well. Not once did it ever feel overboard. Yes, the stuff they were doing was outrageous, but it was done extremely believable. Pascal's ability to turn a general everyday newspaper title into a disturbing film really shines through here. Some refer to the film as Clive Barker-ish. Which is funny because I heard that he was originally slated to direct the upcoming Hellraiser remake, but dropped out for some unknown reason.
All and all, from beginning to end this movie was a beautifully violent dive in to human boundaries, and I am sure as hell glad I read all the reviews that hyped it up for me. I look forward to seeing Mylene Jampanoi in the upcoming supernatural thriller hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood. I really hope everyone gives this movie a chance and checks it out. I don't feel you will be disappointed. If you feel confused, try and perservere. The ending is messed up in so many ways, but completely answers all questions but one. I can't say what that question is. You will understand.
Entertainment Value: 9/10 Barber's Razors
Cinematic Value: 8/10 Barber's Razors