Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Brøken (2008)

Forget Voices, The Brøken is currently my favorite ADHIII film! How coincidental is it that I am currently working on a research paper that involves Poe's life and literature under psychoanalysis? When the movie opened with a quote from Poe's work, I sat back and soaked up the next hour and a half. Just like Poe's work (e.g. The Tell-Tale Heart, The Imp of The Perverse, etc.), the movie poignantly unveils a darkness within. At the same time, the movie is artistic and effectively builds suspense. The best part--and most Poe-like--is that it doesn't attempt to rationally explain why things are happening. When it comes to the human psyche, inexplicability is enough.

Some may consider it to be slow, but I interpret its "slower parts" as part of the underlying tone of dropping into a downward spiral. The movie has a handful of moments, such as the bathtub scene with Lena Headey, when it turns up the suspense and you just know something is about to make an appearance: sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Other cliches, like the person in the mirror, are dispelled and traded for more unexpected (and plot-fitting) scares.

There is one short collage while Headey is dreaming that is particularly disturbing and really made me feel the insanity as rendered in a Poe tale. It's amazing how they were able to carefully draw out the movie within an hour and a half without seeming to rush through everything--perhaps this is why they didn't try to explain the events that were occurring. And, to my knowledge, the closest Poe comes to actually explaining the madness behind some of his characters and stories is in the Imp of The Perverse.

The car crash scene, though a tad excessive with flashbacks, was great as well. I enjoyed seeing the slow motion and multi-angle playbacks, especially with zillions of tiny pieces of glass suspended in mid-air. This is atypical for an ADH entry, so I savored the special effects.

The Brøken takes its time crawling around in irrational psychological aspects and delivers a chilling film with the stunning Lena Headey at the forefront.

Final thought: Having recently watched Step Brothers, I struggled to take Richard Jenkins seriously!

Review Soundtrack:
Dave Matthews Band - "Jimi Thing"
System of a Down - "Toxicity"
Pink Floyd - "Have a Cigar"

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