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An unnamed doctor has always had everything he's ever wanted, but that has only made him develop more extreme and depraved needs. He kidnaps a young couple in the prime of their life together and forces them into a game of torment that slowly extinguishes their hopes for survival. Written by
For years I have watched some of the most graphic, intense, and disturbing movies that I can find. This isn't because I'm some twisted weirdo or anything, but because I'm an all-encompassing cinephile that can and has given 10 star ratings to movies from Beauty And The Beast to Antichrist. To truly love all that film has to offer, you have to understand all that film has to offer.
When you watch extreme cinema, you have to know that the violence and imagery is, if used correctly, serving a purpose, which is usually to heighten your senses of pity, disgust, sympathy, repulsion, etc. Also, it's best if the film has some sort of purpose: Salo is a metaphor for how the upper-class treats and exploits those that they deem below them, Hostel is a satire on the image of the ugly American that has been experienced by other countries, and I could keep going.
This brings me to this film, Grotesque. Without ruining the film (it does that on its own), I will say that there is only the slightest bit of back-story (which is lazily done and seems it might have been an afterthought), and no attempt at putting any of this within context. Bottom line: a guy abducts a couple and brutally tortures them. That's it. No point, no reason, no character development, nothing.
Not only that, it's a technically flawed film as well. The cinematography is horrible: hand-held zoom-ins, overdone color filters, and an overall poor job. It doesn't help that the majority of the film is very dark and shot on digital video, so you get that annoying video blur whenever the camera moves. In terms of writing, for the most part there isn't any. When the film finally gets to a point when the characters are saying something other than "Please stop!" or "Why are you doing this?!", they act in a way that makes absolutely no sense. People that would have gone through what they went would never, ever, show the signs of acceptance or gullibility that they do. They would be hardened or almost catatonic. If that's not enough, the finale radically shifts the tone for seemingly a cheap laugh in a movie that hasn't earned or even tried to get that reaction at any time beforehand.
Whenever I see someone review a film with this level of violence and knock it, even if I think it's great, I understand. These type of films are not everyone's cup of tea. When they say it was just pointless violence, however, I usually check out of the movie and assume they did the same with the movie. With Grotesque, I guarantee I never check out of the film. I stuck with it. I assumed there would eventually be a twist or revelation that would give this film a reason to exist. I assumed wrong.
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