Some people call it a masterpiece, and I’m pretty sure I agree. I was physically hurting during the whole film, but in the best way possible. It was so fascinating in the psychological aspect, beautifully showing how the human mind copes with certain situations. It was breathtaking in the visual aspect, depicting scenes, themes and symbolism in a way that merges painting and video – two art forms that can look forced and unnatural together, but here feel organic and very necessary for the overall vision. The same is to be said of the music, the use of classical compositions by Wagner added an epic feel, something that is needed for a movie that treats this big of a theme – anything less dramatic would have ruined it.
And lastly, the emotional aspect – completely heartbreaking.In the opening scene, we are shown how Earth is swallowed by this unknown blue planet, and during the whole film, we get to follow two sisters in the events leading up to the apocalypse. Before watching the movie, I thought I had an idea of how it would be carried out – I was wrong. So very wrong. It was all set up in a way that, after the final scene, left me shivering with tears streaming down my face. We are alone on this planet. The universe is close to infinite, and there may be life outside of our atmosphere, but when it comes down to it, this, and only this, is our world. And imagine if it all turned to nothing – there would be nowhere to hide. No way to escape it. No way to save yourself. Everything would be gone, and no one would be around to miss it. And even though the apocalypse usually seems so incomprehensible, this film made it feel very real. For two hours, I actually believed that the world was ending. And how would you cope with that? You wouldn’t. Not really. But that doesn’t matter. Because you’d be gone anyway.
Kirsten Dunst as Justine, Cameron Spurr as Leo, and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Claire in Melancholia (2011)