Referencing the work of Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin, critics have called this film an example of “carnivalesque humor,” a genre that encourages audiences to “reflect on, and ultimately reject, their fears of power, law and the sacred.” This particular type of surrealism, they write, (1) features grotesque situations, (2) inverted hierarchies and (3) experimentation.
All three elements can be found in abundance in the film, which features multiple dismembered body parts, an outwardly wealthy and successful character who turns out to be neither, and an “intentionally confused” plot interrupted by occasional dream sequences. From the strange opening scenes through its anticlimactic ending, the film pushes viewers to be aware of the constructed nature of society. The film can be said to encourage viewers to question the norms upon which we base our lives: like meaning (good actions are rewarded, or that the end of things will be good, or somehow make sense), that following ”the social blueprint of life” actually will serve as a solution to our yearning for a meaningful existence.
(Note that: the protagonist isn’t a hero, he doesn’t ride off in the sunset with his girl, etc.)
What, if anything, is the bottom-line with this film, to your mind? What’s the message? What do you ”take with you”? Why? (Try to underpin your answer by describing things that happen in the film)
Post as a comment.