"The earth is evil. We don't need to grieve for it."
Melancholia is Lars Von Trier's apocalyptic drama about a woman with severe depression. In part one, we see the wedding of Justine (Kirsten Dunst) to Michael (Alexander Skarsgard). She attempts to maintain a happy facade but really she is overwhelmed by the emptiness she feels. She tries to escape from her new husband and the wedding party as frequently as she can and ultimately ends up rejecting Michael's sexual advances and cheats on him. He leaves her. In part two, we see Justine's depression worsen which sees her looked after by her sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her husband, John (Keifer Sutherland). We also learn of a rogue planet, Melancholia that threatens to collide with the Earth, ending life.
The film is visually stunning. The opening super slow motion shots of various characters and planetary imagery is stunning, particularly of the horse and Justine in her wedding dress. We see the shots of the planets colliding so that we aren't distracted by not knowing whether the world will actually end. I think this is a fantastic way for us to focus purely on the emotions of the characters which is what really makes the film. The score is also amazing. It seems almost unusual to see a properly scored modern film but the impact of the music adds to the beautiful visuals.
The film is inspired by Von Trier's own experiences with depression. As a sufferer myself I can really relate to Justine. Kirsten Dunst's performance is amazing; one of the most accurate performances of the real effects and actions of a depressed person. It's really one of those films that you need to watch and experience, as mere words just won't have the same impact.
I came across a review which I felt really summed up my viewing experience:
"For myself, all I could do was tremble. I knew that I loved the film – and that I never wanted to see it again. I still haven’t, but then I don’t need to. Just the memory of it feels like a scar, a scar to remind me of how wonderfully wounding cinema can be."
Amazing film that really hits very close to home for me.