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I enjoyed The Lobster, and I wish I liked this better. The cinematography is pedestrian, deliberately I guess, almost provocative - and I did not care for that. ( It comes to life during the gymnast routines, where the director cannot contain his excitement!) And this is a movie you would benefit from visiting it twice. But who would want to?
There is a mesmerising element considering the photography that made me really eager, in the beginning, to see what is going on but it turns out to be a flat and quite boring film.
I love the dark, disturbing, surreal, absurd style of Lanthimos, I really do! But in "Alps" something is missing. A structure, a shape, a meaning. What it misses is some glue to keep all the strangeness together.
It has a plot that is inspired, and delightfully surreal. But the execution of it is dreadful. The imagination does not run wild in Alps. Visual speaking, it is a huge letdown. Everyone in the film seems half dead, sleepwalking through the film. Grieving with death is a concept that only makes sense if it is dealt with accurately. Now, I know that Alps is a surrealist piece, but it just didn't resonate with me emotionally. It didn't hit me where it clearly wanted to.
Alps was so close to becoming another brilliant Yorgos Lanthimos film but, unfortunately, it fell flat as nondescript, self-absorbed attempt at creating significance out of absurdity.
I know for fact that Lanthimos is brilliant and he is one of my favorite filmmakers, but I can't pretend to enjoy this one. I never complained about Lanthimos' abnormal-made-normal stories and techniques and I never will (I love them actually); this movie, however, lacked the glue that hold these elements together and came out as an uttered great line.
Alps is a good idea ruined by execution. Sorry, Lanthimos.
The obvious bridge between Dogtooth and The Lobster, Lanthimos' films improve as his career progresses. If he just stepped on the gas slightly harder, the films would be even more effective.
From the lightening, strange events and emotionless off tone acting Alps has a dreamlike quality from start to finish and just as listening to other people's dreams can prove a bore so is the case with this film. There are some interesting ideas and scenes but the whole thing goes no where, seems indulgent and in the end is hard to enjoy.
The beautiful looks of the film usually help to bring it up a little due to its shallow narrative, but in the end it is a great example of Yorgos' style and in the same way an example of what can go wrong if all of the parts of th film dont always help each other.
Yorgos Lanthimos' follow up to Dogtooth is not quite as successful, but almost just as fascinating.
Lanthimos is essentially taking an inverse perspective on what he examined in Dogtooth. In Dogtooth we saw a family struggling to form identities within a false or fake reality.
In Alps, we follow a small group of people hellbent on escaping their own real identity to a fake one. A group of people form a secret society designed to sneak individual into the world of another in a surrealistic approach to the idea of "surrogates"
In Lanthimos' world, as in reality -- any group of more than 3 individuals, there will always be a seemingly inherent need to find ways to express roles of leadership and superiority. This is only one angle of struggle facing these Reality Surrogates.
Humor is dispensed in odd and deadpan manner. When a surrogate expresses her desire to perform a gymnastic number to a popular tune, those who have positioned themselves as "leaders" look at her purely devoted performance with disdain. The leader dismisses her fake reality desire with a harsh judgement: "You're not ready for Pop music!" --- the result is both funny and off-putting.
As desired reality is no longer a satisfying option, one of the members of these recently formed society rebels. This individual is rebelling against the rigid rules of her own society to force her way into the "reality" she desire.
The desire and need for escaping real identity into an unreal one proves to a problematic challenge in more ways than one. Ultimately, the characters are blocked by cultural and society from all angles as the need for rebellion grows.
A group of people start a business where they impersonate recently deceased in order to help their clients through the grieving process...
Giorgos Lanthimos "Alps" is a static, absurd, patchy, surreal, sad, bleak, theatrical and slightly boring dark drama penetrating the psyche of a group of people longing to be loved and fit in. It´s not a direct film and nor is the message during the first half of the movie. The idea is there of someone impersonating a recently deceased person in order to help a family for example through the grieving process, but Lanthimos handles the topic in such an "arty farty smarty pants" way it falls on it´s own legs when he simply refuses to invite you to at least build some sort of understanding of the film in my opinion. I dislike the fact that he use way too many prolonged silent static scenes killing the dynamics that shines through at times. However, I do think that that actors are truly convincing in their roles, specially the leading actress Aggeliki Papoulia.