Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Last Circus

  The Last Circus is certainly one hell of a movie. Its out of  the blue and seems to take pride in its weary blood drenched humor and its sickly sense of the macabre. Its also very wild and at times surreal. On one hand, it doesn't appear to take itself that serious, and then on the other hand at times its so serious and straightfaced that you're caught off guard by it.  It feels like... a circus act. In any other context this would be an insult rather than a compliment, but The Last Circus juggles themes and tones, like an expert juggler with 20 flaming apples. Its something to marvel at. But after all is said and done... I can't help like I've also seen a car accident. It feels like a bad joke at times. Like instead of watching a display of skill, we're seeing something suffering from ADHD.

  But in the end, it does click. I'm not sure if theres anything to get. No striking revelation. No big aha moment. But it does somehow make sense. Not in a logical way, because there is often no logic to make sense of the batshit events leading up to the final scenes... but in an emotional way. Its powerful. Its what was coming all along. And I knew it. Nevertheless it is a sad movie. Its sad from 'go'. But its also not a depressing movie. Its too snappy and stylish to be a downer entirely. 

  My chief complaint is how often we're pulled out of it. We connect to the characters, sympathize with them... and then something happens that just disconnects us. Its not shocking or anything, its just random. And such scenes just seem to happen for the movies sake, to allow it space to expand on its weirdness and try to mold it into symbolism. But by the time we get to possible symbolism, its too much of a mess to be anything coherant. Its subtexts fouled up by pure strangeness, its emotional resonance is damped by its haste to be crazy, and all this feels like its just for the sake of itself. Its like a mad person begging to be noticed. He'll do anything to get your attention, even at the risk of losing credibility and looking like a fool.

  Having said all that, there is something wild, wacky, insane, and oddly likeable in this macabre tradgedy about love, revenge, and apparently... going crazy.  Its an experience you can't take you eyes off of. Despite my complaints about it, I feel like I watched something artful. Something pretty much worth seeing. Its not a masterpiece, but its destined to be a cult classic, and its a triumph for odd and weird movies everywhere.  I'm not going to waste time telling you a plot synopsis, because theres a billion places where you can get that, but I will say its worth watching if you're interested. But this movie is not for everyone to see. It can disturb some people with its violence and such. But I guess I'm desensitized. The only thing I flinched at was the sad ending. And thats probably the least flinch-worthy moment in the whole movie.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, tonight you shall witness a show like no other, and one you shan't soon forget!

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