Film Review: Dogville

Dogville_posterWith Lars von Trier the boundary between the form and content disappears, With Lars von Trier the vivisection of human psyche and consciousness attains a new height, with Lars von Trier the onus of having an unprecedented film-watching experience shifts on the shoulders of the viewers trying to fathom the crafts of the master.

Dogville is a masterpiece. Period. It is something that transcends the viewers to an experience so horrific, so sinister and yet so allegorically breath-taking that one has to take a bow after watching this film.

Dogville tells us about a small town where the indolent and seemingly indulgent inhabitants are deprived of any enthusiasm for larger compass of life. The small petty people living inside their small petty walls are content and conformed. In a situation like this a woman appears amid them, seemingly being hunted down by the gangsters and the authorities. The Protagonist of the film, the moral intellectual boy of the town Tom finds her and decides to give her shelter. He convinces the rest of the town’s people to allow her this little subsistence primarily without anything except for a small price of running some household chores. How the story unfolds from there, how the perfectly beatific situation spirals down from that point into the epitome of sheer evil and horror, how power arrives even among the most naive and primitives and how that power corrupts, disintegrates and degenerates the cores of human conscience is something must not be described but watched.

The ending is somewhat different from the general von Trier flicks. Rather it seemed that he had donned the hat of Tarrentino on this occasion. Watching the dreadful final sequence any film lover is bound to remember Tarrentino’s signature finishing moves.

The story itself is a moral tale so profound and so open-ended that it can be allusion of many things: be it America’s treatment of its illegal immigrants or capitalism’s abuse of the reserve army of labour. The dark saga of human suffering painted with minimal props, completely shot on a stage with very little settings are something that any cinema-lover would relish. The stripping down of cinema to a minimalist stage drama is something only von Trier is bold enough to experiment with and he succeeds with flying colours.


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