Wasn't totally enthralled with the movie, some silly bits, but there was something so beautifully haunting and intriguing about the central theme that it made me continue to ponder the movie for a couple of weeks after. And this is the central question, how do you deal with terrible personal tragedy, when it happens to you and when it happens to your family? What if there's never any justice and what if you have to live with not knowing what or why it happened? How do we then live on afterward (in life and in death)? It's cathartic and cerebral to watch, but probably a downer for those who are expecting a mystery thriller.
I loved this film. As terrified a I was watching it, I wanted more. This film is an education. Firstly to parents - teach your children about child predators. Once someone touches your kid, it doesn't matter if you drag them into the streets and burn him alive, you cannot eradicate what they did to your child out of your child's head. It's too late. You can't just think because you live in a white picket fence neighborhood that it can't happen to you, and if it does that you can just cover it up like it never happened. Secondly, kids - you have to learn to overcome trauma. Bad stuff happens to you and if you don't personally take control of the situation, life will overcome you. Freddy's dead, but not if you let him continue to survive in your dreams. Fight back!
This review is biased - I love Vincent Gallo. The film is definitely not for everyone. It is arty. If you're not wired that way, you will find parts of it "boring" and "confusing," as has been noted in some reviews. The film was perfectly comprehensible to me, and I found the characters and the narrative absolutely enjoyable. The theme is profound but simple - injustice, belonging, truth and redemption. The formula is well-balanced: exotic and beautiful in parts where the narrative requires slow exposition, and understated photography where the character interaction is dynamic and compelling. It's thoughtful and the acting is spectacular, particularly from newcomer, Alden Erhenreich. And Vincent Gallo, as always, is dirty and delightful.
One of my favorite films. This landed Sergei Parajanov in a gulag. I always suspected this film influenced David Lynch stylistically. Anyway, it's visually beautiful and unique. It's definitely about individualism and the artistic life - unforgivable under the communism in former USSR.