After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... and over the next few days all the elaborate pretenses and facades that they've built up by virtue of their position in society collapse completely as they become reduced to living like animals...Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
After one of the women exits an adjoining room, she seemingly details a surrealist toilet experience to the other women, upon which they detail theirs. If the adjoining room is truly a bathroom (which would make sense since there is no indication in the film of any hygiene problems related to urination or defecation), it should have been explained why the characters could not simply drink the water from the wash basin there and instead had to resort to breaking a pipe. See more »
Everything was perfect, Lucia, despite - at this hour even lipstick begins to fade.
See more »
In the uncut print (featured on the Criterion DVD) the guests enter the mansion and go upstairs twice. Some versions omit the surrealistic second arrival. See more »
I can't say that I'm a big fan of director Luis Buñuel. While I admire his visual flair - his movies often lack backbone, and this brings them down. The Exterminating Angel is the first Buñuel movie that I've really enjoyed. I enjoyed it because I never got the impression that the point of this film was simply to be weird. Buñuel has found a premise - basically, a satire on the behaviour of the upper class - and lampooned it brilliantly. The key to this movie is setting up the central plot, and the director does such a good job of it that after a while; we don't care that the film is based on an idea that makes no sense at all, and are just able to run with it. The film follows a bunch of guests at a dinner party. At the end of the party, none of them make any effort to go home and after a while it becomes apparent to the party that they physically cannot leave the room. We then watch as the upper class, people who are used to sipping champagne and smoking expensive cigars are reduced to surviving in the most basic ways. They have to hack through the wall to find a water pipe and even begin eating paper to quench their hunger
The satire works because the acting is just so different to the way that the upper class usually conduct themselves - either on screen or otherwise. The structure of the social classes is clearly defined by Buñuel's film also. This is the sort of thing that would really scare the rich, while other social classes have other things to worry about. Before the nightmare begins, various people are commenting on the conduct of one of their own who has had slightly too much to drink. This wouldn't worry anyone who isn't 'high society', but the fact that these people do care about it shows the difference in values between the classes. Buñuel directs the film with almost a complete lack of emotion towards the central ensemble - and this stood out to me as it really allows the film to be funny. It's almost like the director is laughing at the situation that he's put his cast of characters into, which suggests that the Spanish director isn't the biggest fan of the upper classes. There's a million and one ways that this film could be interpreted, and that is what makes it great. If you don't like films that don't make sense; this probably won't do much for you. However, I think that this is one of those films that need to be experienced; and I definitely recommend it.
77 of 106 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this