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Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) celebrate their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of Justine's sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire's best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth threatening the very existence of humankind...
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Second of all, this film gets very abstract at times. While some may call this being self-indulgent or even pretentious, I consider it necessary in order to provide more meaning in its overall theme and message (that's as long as it contributes to it). And I gotta say, a lot of this film was very beautifully shot. However, I will say some of the camera work was really lazy at times with the image going out of focus a little too often. There was one shot where I was sure that I saw the shadow of the camera operator. But overall, the composition of the shots are very well made, especially the opening sequence. The opening sequence was probably one of my favorite parts of the movie.
Overall, I'd say give this film a shot. Despite some of my personal gripes with it, it tells a really interesting story that portrays depression from a unique perspective along with a very impressive performance from Kirsten Dunst.
Written and Directed by Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Breaking the Waves).
Haunting... "Tristan and Isolde" ...will tear your heart out!
In the beginning, of the end, we are introduced to fresh faced bride Justine, played by dimpled cheeked Kirsten Dunst and her gorgeous tall soon to be husband Michael, played by Alexander Skarsgård. The couple arrives two hours late for their own wedding ceremony! Disapprovingly, impatiently and anxiously, they are greeted by her sister Claire, played by the incomparable Charlotte Gainsbourg and Justine's curmudgeon of a brother in law John played by Kiefer Sutherland.
Rounding out this brilliant cast of wedding celebrants are John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgärd.
We instantly become wedding guests ourselves and are lead into the grand ballroom of the manor house for the proceedings. Much later, after the cake has been cut, all the guests are ushered outside onto the lawn to join in a charming tradition of writing congratulatory messages on small hot air balloon skins and sending them floating into the sparkling night sky. It was majickal!
Lars gives us tiny glimpses at a time into this privileged, yet terribly dysfunctional family. An undercurrent of uneasiness and outright spoken hostility casts a dark shadow over the festivities as the bride and groom are toasted by estranged family members.
Later, after all the guests have departed, Michael, soon learns that Justine has been barely holding herself together and is irrevocably damaged by major depression. She is incapable of any true relationship nor intimacy with him. Poor disillusioned Michael eventually packs his bag and leaves a broken man.
As the clock ticks tocks, Justine sinks deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole while Claire tries desperately to save her from the darkness while struggling with her own frailties and demons.
By the time we discover the true meaning of MELANCHOLIA, John is having a crushing epiphany! As he sees the light, he decides to take mortality into his own hands while leaving our two sisters to fend for themselves; holding on tightly to each others hands for dear life!
All i dare divulge without ***spoilers*** is that the ending will blow you away!
I hope that you take MELANCHOLIA to heart and love it as much as i did! It is truly a masterful treasure.
By the end of the film none of the characters where fleshed out enough for me to care about them. The final scene came close to being moving and yet somehow missed the mark. Honestly, I'm not sure why I watched the entire thing.