DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Film Review: Dogville

Dogville (15)
Dir. Lars von Trier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Loopy La La von Trier came up with an innovative and uncanny idea for shooting Dogville... Forget about location and concentrate on the acting... The result is a powerful revenge drama which plays out as if on a semi decked 'stage'... I had my doubts that I could take almost 3 hours of this but was hooked from the start by the excellent narrative voice over and beguiling performance by Kidman.

The story goes like this - when a beautiful fugitive, Grace (the always watchable Nicole Kidman), arrives in the isolated township of Dogville it changes the lives of everyone in that place... Tom (Paul Bettany), the self-appointed town spokesman is soon under her spell and convinces the little community to hide her from the gangsters and the law who are pursuing her...

Dogville however has a deviant dark underbelly and once Grace has agreed to work for them in return for their shelter - the men folk of the township succumb to their base lust, the women to bitchy jealousy and spite, and the even the kids turn out to be as unpleasant as they come... Grace learns the hard way that in Dogville you don't want to trust anyone and to expect no kindness. Or for that matter even basic human rights - like not being raped in your bed by half the town every night...

But Grace has a secret too and hers' is a dangerous one. Dogville may regret it ever began to bare its teeth...

Yes if you can buy into the minimalist approach and production - you'll be well rewarded with one of the best ever endings to a film - and if you can't stomach the plodding story, at least on DVD you can jump to the end but it won't have so much satisfactory 'bite'...

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (weirdness + quality acting = top entertainment)

Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here

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