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

  • Jun 03, 2020

    Amazing that this is based on a real story. The highlight is the patriarchal, incongruous main character. Subtext is rather in your face and not subtle at all. Disappointing ending.

    Amazing that this is based on a real story. The highlight is the patriarchal, incongruous main character. Subtext is rather in your face and not subtle at all. Disappointing ending.

  • Jan 02, 2018

    It is supposed to be based on a true story but as an allegory one can make many assumptions as to what it's all about.

    It is supposed to be based on a true story but as an allegory one can make many assumptions as to what it's all about.

  • Dec 23, 2017

    For 1973 this film makes a lot of noise about the patriarchy and society and family and being your own worst enemy.

    For 1973 this film makes a lot of noise about the patriarchy and society and family and being your own worst enemy.

  • Edgar C Super Reviewer
    Jul 08, 2013

    Before <i>Dogtooth</i> (2009), there was the Mexican masterpiece <i>El Castillo de la Pureza.</i> 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 <i>Kynodontas</i> and to Lanthimos' uncomfortable reaction when he was asked whether if he had seen <i>The Castle of Purity</i> before, giving <b>no answer</b> to the interviewer. 98/100

    Before <i>Dogtooth</i> (2009), there was the Mexican masterpiece <i>El Castillo de la Pureza.</i> 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 <i>Kynodontas</i> and to Lanthimos' uncomfortable reaction when he was asked whether if he had seen <i>The Castle of Purity</i> before, giving <b>no answer</b> to the interviewer. 98/100

  • May 26, 2013

    Una de las esenciales del cine mexicano y de su director Ripstein;por igual deprimente y claustrofobica,con un final perturbador

    Una de las esenciales del cine mexicano y de su director Ripstein;por igual deprimente y claustrofobica,con un final perturbador

  • Jul 09, 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.

    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.

  • Apr 07, 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.

    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.

  • Apr 06, 2012

    A tale on the power of fear and religion.

    A tale on the power of fear and religion.

  • Dec 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.

    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.

  • Mar 19, 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.

    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.