I Have Not Seen A Movie This Unique In Quite Awhile, and Grace Is Far Better A Person Than I.
I did not expect anything of this magnitude when I first saw Dogville.
"Powerful" and "brilliant" are two words that are thrown around far too
much in the movie business, but they truly do apply here. I would say
it was beautiful as well, and while it did have some beautifully
rendered scenes, there was a whole lot of ugliness in the film to
really be described in this way.
Dogville is different than any movie I have ever seen. The whole town
is nothing more than a few props placed on what seems to be a giant
chalkboard on the ground with chalk outlines of the houses and other
significant areas of the town. It takes place in the Rocky Mountains
probably around the 1930's I would guess, however, you will not see
anything scenic except for one lone bush (I'm not sure if that has any
meaning or not, I'm sure there is all kinds of hidden messages here). I
enjoyed this premise at first, then got slightly annoyed by it but at
the end, I hardly noticed. Being able to see in and out of buildings as
regular townsfolk get on with their lives was kind of nice background
and in certain scenes, thought provoking. Who really knows what is
going on behind the locked door right next to you? This alone makes the
film very unique but it delivers more within the story, itself.
The story begins as Grace Mulligan (Nicole Kidman) is fleeing from
something and is pretty frightened. She is caught coming through
Dogville by Thomas Edison Jr. (Paul Bettany) and convinces Grace to
stay in town after jumping through a few hoops with the people of the
town (15 people comprise this small town). At first, Grace makes an
effort to befriend the townspeople and gain their trust, and succeeds.
After a bit of time, because of things that happen through no fault of
her own, the town begins to turn on her. They realize that her choices
are to be caught by the police, the gangsters after her or to remain in
Dogville (I'm really paraphrasing here for the sake of space). Upon
figuring that out, they turn very nasty towards her, in almost every
way imaginable and the one person she trusts, Tom Edison, seems unable
to help. As anyone watching will no doubt figure out, there is going to
be a twist and it turns out to be a nice one.
I thought the movie was great, as mentioned above, but I do not think
it was necessary to fill 3 hours and I thought the end could have been
a little more... well, just more. They could have had some real fun
there. Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany turn in excellent performances
and director Lars von Trier deserves some kudos as well. Good job by
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bangalore05 watch Empire Of The Ants movie
my friends sugested to watch..
agnetafons watch The Room movie
A new girl arrives in town, where nothing is the way it seems. Sure, the village looks like a stage with poor properties, but who is a better actor - the seemingly helpless victim Grace or the overprotective villagers?.
Stephz watch Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story movie
Dogville was surprisingly well written and what a message! Want to watch it again and again!.
drfarhad watch Beyond A Reasonable Doubt movie
wow,it's to heavy film, this actress is a goon one. .
fresh idea, great actors. you can see yourself in the film like in the mirror.. .
nicole kidman is fab in this movie.
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People as animals (spoilers throughout)
I find it quite amusing that so many Americans were outraged that Lars
von Trier had the temerity to criticise their country without having
visited it. After all, we do it all the time, don't we? Millions of us
are quite content to sit on our sofas and criticise China, North Korea,
Zimbabwe, Israel and countless other countries without having visited
their shores. And we're perfectly justified in doing so. So why should
Von Trier be vilified for criticising America from a few thousand miles
away? Well, of course, I don't think he should. He's perfectly entitled
to his opinion, and those that cry and moan are symptomatic of
America's biggest problem its inability to take criticism without
getting its pants in a twist. Surely every great country should thrive
on criticism. It should help it grow and develop. But instead America
seems to resemble a child sometimes, spouting unhelpful phrases like,
"America: love it or leave it" or, "You're either with us or against
us." Therefore a film like Dogville, one that refuses to revel in the
hollow American Dream, is vital, and it's a film that should be
embraced, not shunned.
But anyway, what the detractors seem to overlook is the fact that
Dogville could really be a small town anywhere. It may be the first
part in an American trilogy, but the small town values with their
prejudices and hypocrisy are universal. Everyone can relate...
The film begins and ends with a God's eye view of the proceedings and
it isn't hard to imagine that Von Trier is looking down on the
characters, judging them. In fact, as Tom himself says, everything is a
game, a test, and Von Trier is the one pulling the strings.
The game begins when Grace enters the town. The townsfolk are
frightened, but Tom thinks it's a gift. He wants to see if Dogville has
a problem with acceptance. Well, at the beginning, the citizens are
understandably cautious, but they're eventually placated when Grace
proves that she can help them out. And so at the beginning she develops
a good relationship with the town and its citizens. But even at the
beginning the relationship is far from equal. She may like everyone,
but she's essential a slave. Yet the townsfolk like her best like this,
when she's happily subservient.
As the film progresses, the town is tested further. The police post
wanted posters and accuse Grace of crimes that she couldn't have
committed (as she was in the town at the time). But rather than this
bringing everyone around to her cause, the town gets cold feet. It
wants to help, but only as long as it doesn't put them at risk.
Therefore they decide to doubly enslave Grace to make themselves feel
better. It's an extraordinary move, but one that is anything but
far-fetched. Individuals are brave, but people have worrying habit of
proving themselves to be spineless.
And seeing as Grace affects the status quo, the townsfolk decide to
take their frustrations out on her. The men rape her physically and the
women rape her psychologically. In fact, the most upsetting scene isn't
one of the numerous rape scenes although Chuck's rape scene does
prove the brilliance of the set, what with it showing everyone going
about their daily business and turning a blind eye to what is going on
- it is instead the womens' abuse of Grace and the destruction of her
figurines. It's more than just a physical violation. It's a violation
of everything. Her dreams are being smashed right before her eyes.
But why do the people of Dogville react this way? Surely their
behaviour is an exaggeration. Well, it is and it isn't. Of course the
film paints a bleak portrait of human nature that you might not find
down your street, but I think that the film proves that we all have
darkness present in us. It only takes the right conditions and the
right buttons to be pressed for it to emerge. In the case of Dogville,
it emerges for many reasons, but I think the main reason is because
Grace shows everyone what they are. Before her arrival everyone is
happily stuck in a rut, but once she arrives everything changes.
Everyone is faced with their mediocrity and everyone's lies are
exposed. In one scene McKay, after having finally admitted his
blindness, indeed thanks Grace for "showing us who you are", but during
her time in Dogville she also forces Bill to realise his stupidity (by
playing checkers for him), Liz her unattractiveness (by catching Tom's
eye), Ben his loneliness (by providing for him), Chuck and Vera their
unhappy marriage (by catching Chuck's eye) and Tom his cowardice
(through his refusal to kiss her even though she's admitted her love
for him). Needless to say, not everyone likes being exposed. It's hard
to face yourself when you don't like what you see. And therefore the
person that you're going to punish is the one that made you look at
The ending is certainly bleak, but I think it forces us to take a hard
look at ourselves. How often have we taken advantage of other people
when we should have helped? How often have our intentions been selfish?
And Grace's final actions suggest one thing to me: if you treat someone
like an animal, you shouldn't be surprised when they treat you like one