Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)

Director: Lars Von Trier
Writer:    Lars Von Trier
Cast:       Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Willem Dafore, Shia Lebeouf

The continuation of Joe's sexually dictated life delves into darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman's care.

From what I understand these two volume versions of the film were not personally edited by Lars Von Trier from the five and half hours of the footage he had and there will be full single version release of the film in 2014 which could be the director's cut. The second volume is significantly darker and less funny than the previous one with lots of violence involved. It can be very difficult to watch and overall the theme that he is exploring seems to be hypocrisy evident by the conversation the protagonists have regarding democratic societies in which word like negros are frowned upon whereas it essentially contradicts its ideal of people exercising their choice. Many of the same actions like a parent leaving their children for their sex life is done by characters of both genders and the film points out that depending on their gender our reaction towards it differs. This kind hypocrisy is being talked about at the end but in my opinion most of it is a by-product of our evolutionary past and we are predisposed to follow them. Film's last scene brings this fact to the viewers by having the Seligman character, who is portrayed as an asexual intellectual, making sexual advances towards Joe telling her that she has fucked thousands of men and this would make no difference to her.

Volume one is significantly better but this one is also good. Pretty early on in volume two, Charlotte Gainsbourg herself starts portraying her flashback character instead of Stacy Martin which I thought was Lardone in a seamless way. If I were to rank Lars Von Trier's depression trilogy, the order would be Melancholia, Nymphomaniac and then Antichrist at a distant third.

Rating: 3.5/5