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Title (Brazil): "Amaldiçoada" ("Cursed")
The long runtime put me off watching it for a few weeks, but I finally got myself to watch it. I can honestly say that every minute of the film is worth watching, and every minute of the film affected me right to the core. I won't spoil any of the plot, so all I'll say is that. I cannot imagine so much misfortunes can be bestowed upon a person, yet the presentation of this horrid story is so very believable. It feels like I'm watching someone's life up close, and what happens to her makes me sick right to the core, right from the start to the end. The events portrayed are truly horrifying, and I'm still paralysed by Shock and disbelief minutes after watching it. Acting is great by Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce, they make their characters shine. I cannot imagine a monster as sick as this character in the film. I am still having headache and palpitations from the evil character. I honestly can't remember when was the last time I felt so sick because of a film.
Watch this film if you have the chance, but watch it alone and when you feel strong enough for a very depressing emotional challenge.
But would I recommend watching it to any of my friends or family? No, probably not, because although it was a good movie it made me feel horrible afterwards (as in crying in the bathroom horrible), and this is coming from someone who has seen her fair share of horrors and thrillers throughout the years. I don't know why, but there was something so incredibly heart-wrenching about this movie for me that i have barely slept last night. It was not because of the graphic violence per se, although it didn't help of course, but just because of the atmosphere created throughout the movie.
So if you are planning on watching keep in mind that it is not for the faint-hearted (I feel like Albus Dumbledore warning about the Triwizard tournament lol)
You know you're watching a masterpiece when not three, not five, but nearly every scene is a work of art. A powerful combination of character, conflict, beauty and above all truth. And Koolhoven's truth is in the details, the blocking of a scene, the poignant rendering of a back lit saddle creating a striking metaphor or even the empty gun pointed at an whore-abusing coal miner - helping him to climax by the very thought of violence. This is what makes cinema different from theater or television - its power to tell story through images and action rather than words. How fitting that the lead character has no tongue to speak with - but still manages to steal the show.
Fanning and Pearce are true gems and shine bright in this dark epic. It's not a film for the faint-hearted or god-fearing - but I truly hope my generation will be able to appreciate a thing of beauty like this and not be disappointed at the absence of Tarantino-like crowd pleasers. This is not a self conscious meta western, but a real story about human's struggle with religion, violence and above all man's fear of women. Koolhoven has given us in the Netherlands something to be proud of again - Cinema with balls that confronts and provokes.
I'm sure many people will be offended, disgusted - and so should they - the world is not as depicted in the Marvel universe, where no action has real consequences. In this time of populism and mass manipulation we need people like Martin Koolhoven who are willing to spend years perfecting their craft - creating fiction that reveals the truth our reality obscures. Go and see for yourself - Love it - Hate it - Ten years from now we'll still be talking about this film.
As pointed by others, it is not suitable for faint-hatred and you may encounter some violent scenes which may make you feel utterly disgusted but this makes the film more realistic and leaves you craving for justice.
If TV-series like Game of thrones, Outlander, West World intrigues you this will as well.
Acts one and two are good, bordering on excellent. The plot is thoroughly intriguing, suspenseful and well paced, neither painfully slow nor hurriedly fast. I really liked the foundation being laid out both in terms of what and how.
Fanning's character comes across as genuinely vulnerable in a refreshingly original way and it is clear Joanna is a woman with a difficult past. Pearce's character, the reverend, is the polar opposite, giving his character a real sense of menace with a skillfully understated performance.
At the mid-point, I thought 'Wow! This is like "The Crucible" meets "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I was thoroughly gripped. And then...
In the second half, all the good work is undone. The story verges on the ridiculous at points as the film tries to explain how the characters had ended up at this point and thrusts us towards a pantomime resolution. There is a sense of overkill about all of this and I began to feel disorientated because of expedient plot and role twists. I am not exaggerating when I say I was speechless as the credits rolled.
I wish I liked this film more, for the sake of all those involved in its making. If anything, the story of the making of this film seems far more dramatic and interesting than the film itself. It's such a shame.
And lets say for a moment even if this film would not nonchalantly offend alt-right and religiously delusional hypocrites a like, purely from a cinematic standpoint BrimStone is a stunning piece of work.
I found that the characters, the story, the dialogue, the camera and lighting was so well crafted that the the sum of it all quickly pulled me in. BrimStone has that mesmerizing quality that lets you forget everything else around you while watching. The main villain was the most detestable character in a very long time. No spoilers here, but wow...
The classical music is absolutely beautiful and fits the theme, emotions and story extremely well. Somewhere i read that this film was 5 years in the making. And it shows every well crafted moment.
We watch films for emotional connections. And this film does connect so masterfully. And if you are unable to accomplish such, or find it hard to follow a simple story, there are still plenty of explosions and leather clad superheroes to brighten your day in other recent productions.
Don't watch the trailer. Ignore the insecure alt-right internet crap storm. And jump straight into this film without any spoilers. That way BrimStone is the most enjoyable experience. BrimStone is a classic,essential drama, in every sense of the word. Don't miss it!
It was supposed to be a "western, mystery, thriller" which seemed interesting. Unfortunately the plot line on this site was the only mystery about this film. A thriller then? Not unless you find endless amounts of mostly pointless violence thrilling. I generally don't mind violence when it serves a purpose to the story, as the here imitated Tarantino is such a master of. There is so much of it and so graphic that it's shocking (as probably intended) at first, but not that much further down the line you just shut off and wish this pile of misery ends quickly... which it doesn't. It seems endless. The story is simple and could easily have been told in 1.5 hours, so why did it have to be so ff-in long?! If I had to describe the genre: drama, with western and horror elements. The variety of violence was the only surprising thing about this film, just when you wonder whether this or that kind of torture will be graphically portrayed it's provided. #spoiler# There's no subtlety or nuance to be found anywhere. I find the characters over the top, the story line boring, motives and background story lacking and no real sense of purpose with the time-line mix-up and unnecessary scenes. The moment she sees the reverend you know it's going to end with her killing him - by the by, how did he get himself into that position and how on earth does he keep finding her?! Nothing makes sense-. The anti climax of our main character FINALLY setting fire to- and shooting the baddie is only worsened by her anticlimactic death soon after: this film's final lash to the viewers raw back. No sense of the promised sweet revenge or a sense of well earned peace after a lifetime of misery. No. Just our heroine giving up after some douchebags come to claim her because "her past has run up with her". This film will leave you feeling abused; don't watch it. If you're looking to feel sad at the end of a gripping drama with a feminist message and star cast, go see Million Dollar Baby. If you want violence, blood and gore with a great cast, story line and wittiness, go watch a recent Tarantino.
Realistically its an average effort, nothing horrendous, but then again nothing remarkable either.
Public Feedback platform required: This is not so much a review as it is the result of IMDb deleting the very vital function of forums that individual users are able to discuss a project. Its an inappropriate function but what other alternative has IMDb left available now? I encourage everyone to do the same so they realize how counter productive and bad an idea this was.
You know Brimstone is a cruel film and anti women. It takes place in a time when women means very little towards men. So if you don't like this, you should not see this movie.
The movie is divided in 4 periods in time. After each period you know more about the characters. Every period contains a lot of violence and is most of the time very anguished. The actors are really great, especially Pearce and Fanning, and how the movie is filmed is also special. For example the angles from above.
There is a lot of violence in the movie and I really could not see some scenes but it is a movie where you think about for a long time. Really impressive, I only know a few movies that give you this strange feeling after the movie. You have different emotions.
Even though the movie is a bit slow this is not disturbing. I didn't see the movie as a real western, especially because of the role of women in this movie.
Sorry for my English because I am Dutch. I am a woman of 45 Years. I recommend this movie to everybody who can see a mix of violence and religion especially towards women.
As my headline says, I feel I was frauded into seeing this movie by its plot summary on this site and some user reviews glorifying it.
The plot summary goes: "A triumphant epic of survival and a tale of powerful womanhood and resistance against the unforgiving cruelty of a hell on earth. Our heroine is Liz (Dakota Fanning), carved from the beautiful wilderness, full of heart and grit, hunted by a vengeful Preacher (Guy Pearce) - a diabolical zealot and her twisted nemesis. But Liz is a genuine survivor; she's no victim - a woman of fearsome strength who responds with astonishing bravery to claim the better life she and her daughter deserve..." User reviews go: "Terrific", "Best movie of LFF this year","Dark, violent and depressing - wonderful", "Super powerful", "Simply amazing", "Original" etc.
I say this much is true that it is violent, dark and utterly depressing. All the characteristics I do not tend to have problem with - I love dark dramas and gory horror films. What I have a problem with is the lack of everything else. THERE IS NO TRIUMPH IN THIS STORY. IT DOES NOT EMPOWER WOMEN OR DEPICT THEM AS STRONG SURVIVORS. OUR MAIN CHARACTER (AS EVERY OTHER WOMAN THERE) IS A VICTIM. She continues to be a victim throughout all the bloody movie. She is no fighter but victim and escaper who lets everyone else die fighting for her or just because knowing her. This is two and a half hours long torture porn and eventual death of a villain in a completely unsatisfying manner does not make it triumphant.
Showing the life of wild west from women's non-enviable pov was an admirable effort, but the overly powerful (semi-immortal???) villain, story that didn't know did it want to be harsh reality tale or dark mystic thriller, lack of power in every female character etc pulled it down into just some depressing tale that goes on and on and on and on and then suddenly ends without pulling the ends together.
I suspect that it ticked the right boxes to get high votes: European writer/director, overall depressing feel, a story that is messy and full of holes so film hipsters can call it "thought-provoking"... Yup, for aforementioned wannabes it is probably a good tone to praise the movie :P
Cinematography was great. Also acting.