Saturday, September 29, 2018

Review Mandy (2018)


What I assumed will be a two hour long of violent entertainment, turns into a surrealistic ethereal journey of raw unfiltered emotions.

Like many, “Mandy” caught my attention with its irrefusable premise of seeing Nicholas Cage fight religious fanatics with a battle axe in a neon lit forrest while listening to heavy metal. It was only later on that I discovered that the film is that of Panos Cosmathos, the man that brought us “Beyond the Black Rainbow”, an equally visionary expressionist piece of filmmaking. By that time I immediately knew, this film will be a totally unique piece of artwork, bold with its stylistic choice and loyal to its uncompromising vision.

“Mandy” is labeled by Cosmathos himself as a revenge flick, and I do believe it works so effectively at delivering exactly that. This film is to me, first and foremost, unbelievably satisfying to watch. It is a potrait of vengeance I would compare to Chan-Wook’s “Oldboy”, yet in its completely different yet equally brutal way. It is drooling with emotions, of anger and pain, that you can literally feel the passion behind Cosmathos’ directing seeping through the screen. It is pure expressionism, and it strives for one goal only : to evoke emotions, in the most intense and deafening way possible.

However, while most of the credits should be given to Cosmathos’ bold ambition, “Mandy” is undeniably a result of a fantastic team effort. First and foremost is the atmospheric scoring, the last work of composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The giallo-esque cinematography and intricate production design, is an achievement by two smaller filmmakers who is clearly deserving of more attention : Benjamin Loeb and Hubert Pouille. And lastly but far from least, the riveting performances by the amazing ansamble cast. From Cage who arguably delivers his best performance, one that is legitimately moving and never laughable, to Riseborough whose angelic experience will haunt you everytime she’s on screen, and Linus Roache who proves yet again of hypnotizing charisma he gave out in his most notable role of King Ecbert in “Vikings”.

(Conclusion in the comments)

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