The Castle of Purity (El Castillo de la pureza) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Castle of Purity (El Castillo de la pureza) Reviews

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ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2013
Before Dogtooth (2009), there was the Mexican masterpiece El Castillo de la Pureza.

Gabriel Lima is a family man disgusted by humanity, a desperate individual that has the perception of all things in the world coming to an end. He decides to confine himself and his family for 18 years in a big colonial house in order to avoid his wife and his three sons to have any contact with the outside world. The family survives thanks to the business the father started with his invention of a home-made rat poison, which is fabricated by his sons everyday like factory laborers. Only Gabriel is allowed to go outside, selling the merchandise to nearby stores and businesses, while encountering troubles with the municipal authorities because of the side effects and the possible illegality of the substances that his rat poison formula has caused.

Whereas the Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos would be concerned with the possible claustrophobic environment to be too dense for audiences to handle, Arturo Ripstein confines the audience in the darkness of the house and lets the disturbing nature of the father to be unleashed with no apologies. With an aversion for the evil nature of humanity, yet with a contradictory passion for literature, he establishes an authoritarian regime in his own house: creating a schedule of disciplinary actions, physical exercises, "school" courses containing literature readings, making his family memorize quotes (without the context provided) of philosophers like Goethe and Ellis about how to be a superior man while avoiding societal consensus, locking up his children in dusty underground prisons when they misbehaved and physically abusing them for all the mistakes they did in the past with no room for apologies, in spite of his disturbingly bipolar personality. Yet, in the outside world and away from the eyes of his family, he hypocritically commits a considerable number of deeds that he condemns so much, such as being unfaithful and having sex with any virgin woman he encounters while blaming his wife for not being a virgin because of having sex with men before meeting him, and manipulating people for his own convenience.

A sense of dread and claustrophobia invade the film, allowing the audience to leave the house less than 10 times. Ripstein's possibly best film conducts an analysis of hypocrisy and about a psychotic and delusional control of circumstances, and the ironic creation of a domestic hell of a man that wants to save his family from an external hell. The allegory of the man selling rat poison serves cleverly the purpose of reflecting Gabriel's perspective towards humanity, even if he slowly becomes one of the human rats he so much loathes. All of the actions take place while a heavy rain invades the house everyday, making the architecture to go weaker and increasing the probability of the house crumbling down, and while his sons begin to be invaded by fear, by their physical impulses, and by a strong wish to see the outside world for the first time in their lives. A controversial masterpiece that was brought to light once again thanks to the recent release of the inferior Kynodontas and to Lanthimos' uncomfortable reaction when he was asked whether if he had seen The Castle of Purity before, giving no answer to the interviewer.

98/100
½ May 26, 2013
Una de las esenciales del cine mexicano y de su director Ripstein;por igual deprimente y claustrofobica,con un final perturbador
July 9, 2012
Tal como en "Dogtooth", "El Castillo de la Pureza" representa una sordida y retorcida pesadilla de abuso patriarcal que no nos deja mucho excepto una sensacion de repulsion ante la crueldad que debe sufrir una familia. Aqui tenemos a un hombre llamado Gabriel cuyos explosivos cambios de humor son un verdadero estigma para su esposa e hijos (el hombre estalla en segundos) y pues la historia es como una bomba de tiempo ya que sus hijos adolescentes comienzan a descubrir una sexualidad reprimida y un rencor hacia su padre que no los deja conocer el exterior.
"El Castillo de la Pureza" es una perturbadora cinta mexicana que provoca pero no reflexiona.
April 7, 2012
One of the best Mexican films, if not the best, marks the debut of the great Diana Bracho who would later become the country's most versatile actress. Probably the only Ripstein film where he's actually restrained, under control and without falling into his usual excesses that would be the trademark of his highly irregular filmography.
The film has almost a poetic visual quality about the suffocation of a family being trapped in a house by his psychotic patriarch. Based on a real story.
½ April 6, 2012
A tale on the power of fear and religion.
½ December 17, 2011
While the similarities to the academy award nominated Greek film 'Dogtooth' are disturbing. The tone of this film is alot more serious and doesn't go for shock effect. The performance by Claudio Brook as the husband and father of the family is all kinds of messed up. His obvious mental illness is disturbing to watch because you never know when he's going to act out on his family. The rat poison, the constant pounding rain, the punishment cells, all of it is so damn heavy. When the film ended i launched out of my seat just so i could feel that i got away from the situation this family was in.
½ May 27, 2011
While the similarities to the academy award nominated Greek film 'Dogtooth' are disturbing. The tone of this film is alot more serious and doesn't go for shock effect. The performance by Claudio Brook as the husband and father of the family is all kinds of messed up. His obvious mental illness is disturbing to watch because you never know when he's going to act out on his family. The rat poison, the constant pounding rain, the punishment cells, all of it is so damn heavy. When the film ended i launched out of my seat just so i could feel that i got away from the situation this family was in.
November 2, 2010
?κ?μη κι αν ο ?άνθιμο? έκλε?ε ?ην α??ική ιδέα, ο ??ν?δον?α? ?α?αμένει καλ??ε?η ?αινία και με ?α??? ?ε?ι????ε?α ε?ί?εδα ανάγν??η?.
½ November 4, 2009
Como Mexico no hay dos, jajaja
½ February 17, 2009
A strange film about a man who imprisons his wife and 3 children in a house to protect them from the outside world. He forces them to live a life of purity free of the poisons of society (liquor, meat, intimacy, etc.) They spend their time creating rat poison and producing it. The patriarch leaves the "castle" daily to sell his poison. He also seems to favor pork tacos and prostitutes his daughters age. A tale of high morality and morality gone wrong.
February 8, 2009
El exterior est lleno de maldad, sera cierto?
½ July 20, 2008
El final no me termino de convencer mucho, pero aun asi muy buena historia y actuaciones.
May 27, 2008
... SUBLIME ripstein es de lo meor gracias a que no tiene estomago...
February 19, 2008
Usualmente en el cine mexicano suelo encontrar cintas bastante olvidables que insultan la inteligencia, pero debo decir que sta no decepciona en lo ms mnimo.

Un padre mantiene a su esposa e hijos totalmente alejados del mundo externo para "mantenernos a salvo del mal", convirtindolos en prisioneros hasta llegar a grados enfermizos y de extremo fanatismo, que no religioso, por que curiosamente ese elemento nunca es mencionado.

Uno puede sentir la frustracin de vivir bajo la sombra de un hombre opresor que dolorosamente resulta ser alguien tan cercano a los menores, quien a su vez desconoce que el mal puede venir de todas las formas posibles.

Gran cinta, aunque algo floja en las actuaciones, mencin aparte para la jovencsima Diana Bracho, que luce bastante bien en la cinta, con todo y fan service includo. ; )
DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2008
Clasico solido del cine mexicano, quizas lo unico bueno que ha dirigido Ripstein en toda su carrera. Claudio Brook es la clase de actor que le urge con desesperacion al cine mexicano actual.
February 14, 2008
Excelenta abordaje de tema y realización de la trama ¡¡sigue siendo estudiada en Psicología!!
November 3, 2007
Obra maestra fundacional del cine ripsteiniano que narra las obsesiones de un fabricante de raticida que confina a su familia ??mujer y tres hijos- al interior de su propio hogar durante años, a fin de protegerlos de las atrocidades del mundo exterior. La historia, tomada de un hecho real, dio como consecuencia la novela de Luis Spota La carcajada del gato y la pieza teatral Los motivos del lobo de Sergio Magaña; ésta última, motivó a Dolores del Río a comprar los derechos para filmarla bajo el mando de Buñuel, quien declinó recomendando a Arturo Ripstein. El cineasta, que venía de un autoexilio de 4 años, explota aquí su máxima capacidad creativa. Apoyado en el sólido guión de José Emilio Pachecho, Ripstein se erige como maestro en el uso del plano secuencia, ejemplificando con sus movimientos y encuadres cerrados la agobiante atmósfera de encierro propia de la historia. Tan perfecta como deprimente, tan precisa como agobiante.
October 24, 2007
all by Ripstein is amazing, the best of the best, My favourite "principio y fin" where the fuck is it on facebook?
October 16, 2007
UNA DE LAS PRIMERAS PELICULAS MEXICANAS QUE VI!.... IMPACTANTE... CREO QUE POR ESO ESTUDIO PSICOLOGIA!
½ August 17, 2007
A tale on the power of fear and religion.
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