I just finished watching this movie at the Karlovy Vary film festival in the Czech Republic. Some friends of mine said they had heard good things about it, but then remembered they were thinking of a different film. Still, the film had won awards at three different festivals and also had a decent rating on this site, as well as a favorable review from the one person who commented.
What I'm about to say is not something I say lightly: This was the worst film I have ever seen. I think about half of the people in the theater (the theater was almost full) cleared out before the movie ended. It was slower than anything I've ever seen, and I have seen a great deal of foreign films.
Everything about this film was just horrible. The plot was thin and nearly non-existent, and about 90% of the film was taken up by the woman running around asking where her grandson was, and people asking her the same questions ("Boy or a girl?" "What was he wearing?" "Did you talk to the police?"). I seriously think this was about an hour of the film, all of it exactly the same.
Yet, strangely, I found myself rather intrigued during the entire course of the film. I was intrigued because I was convinced that there is no possible way that anyone could make a film that slow and not be fully aware of what they were doing. I started to think of John Cage's 4'33" and thought that, maybe, it's meant to be the cinematic equivalent of that: just one, huge joke on the film's audience. I'm hoping that's what it was, anyway, or else the director and editor of this film must have been the two most inept human beings in history. There were a few funny moments in the film which captured my interest, but for the most part, the most laughs came at the end of the film as people laughed at the sheer absurdity of the fact that they had just sat through something so unbelievably awful.
I fail to see how this film won so many awards. The way I see it, either the juries at these festivals saw it as a joke as well and appreciated it, or else they figured that a film this boring must have some sort of deeper artistic meaning that they're missing. Either way, this movie is not worth seeing, not even for the humor of how bad it is, whether that was intended or not.
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