Dogville (2003)

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Dogville

I haven’t watched a bulk of Lars Von Trier’s filmography but I do love the Depression Trilogy. Melancholia is just an absolutely amazing work of art (and the first proof that Kirsten Dunst is really good), and Nymphomaniac is so f’ed up but undoubtedly  amazing. I feel like a lot of those films and the mood and melancholy involved is personal to his own depression. In a similar way I think Dogville really purveys his misanthropic feelings towards humans. Nonetheless, I found this film to be really entertaining, unique, and artistic.

The film is about a woman who comes upon the inhabitants of a town called Dogville after fleeing from gangsters. The town takes her in on the condition that she do chores for the town folk. Gradually the favors that she does turn intense and a growing hatred occurs for the woman. She is then treated like a slave, chained, raped and emotionally abused. She once escapes danger in her life and then stumbles upon it in Dogville, and becomes emotionally withdrawn to the abuse she suffers. The film explores the evil of human beings and the revenge taken upon those who wronged you.

I really enjoyed this film but I can see film goers finding it pretentious and tedious. The film is quite unique as its a parable that is literally a stage production. The actors are on a stage the entire time complete with chalk lines dividing different territories in Dogville. I’ve never seen anything like this before and really liked the unique production on display. The film is also a near full 3 hours long and is mostly filled with dialogue. If this turns you away, then this film probably isn’t for you. Lars von Trier films aren’t for everyone , but I’m quite appreciative of the strong pathos on display in his work.

Nicole Kidman is DAMN good in this film. Her character (Grace) is an innocent beautiful and obedient woman who gets taken advantage up. Things get to a breaking point and she realizes the ugly nature of humans and then takes revenge. Human beings cause the suffering of other humans and things are a cycle. Whatever is done onto you is done back onto others. Its a bleak tale of human misdoings that will polarize viewers. I’m leaning towards masterpiece though.

8/10

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