Friday, August 24, 2007

Battle In Heaven

Battle In Heaven (Carlos Reygadas, 2006) [6]

Reygadas's film is about many things (the urban landscape of Mexico City, the immense social stratification of that nation, sexual attraction, religion) and really not about anything. This is an extremely rigorous film, a film that needs strict attention to the visuals. Reygadas has stripped any normal sense of plot away from the film, as the film meanders from scene to scene, taking its time. What makes it difficult is trying to decipher just want to take away from this. You can read into the religious angle, the social commentary (the whole subplot of Carlos and his wife kidnapping the baby), and of course, the sex. The film itself never really gives a strong toehold into any of them, only to mention them and then move on to something else. It has been a couple of days since I've seen this and I'm still not sure exactly what to make of it. By stripping his film of so many filmic elements viewers take for granted, it's hard to say I like it in terms of plot and character. But I'm also a person very interested in the visual aspects of cinema, and here with languid, meditative shots, it is something I can really appreciate. Overall, I'm still puzzled by it but know underneath my mental haze, there is something worth being said underneath.

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