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Berlin in the 1970s is the setting for this dark fantasy horror movie and I loved it. Set in a renowned, all female, dance school, a young American student quickly becomes embroiled in a dark, witchcraft cult that is centred around the teachers. Based on a cult Italian horror film of the 1970s, this is a gory, arty remake and makes for bleak, compelling viewing. Tilda Swinton is magnetic as the Madame Blanc, the charismatic and brilliant dance teacher who, together with her colleagues, is at the heart of a power struggle with their coven and is trying to recreate a ceremonial event with the girls in her charge. Genuinely creepy and ghoulish, I loved the rich, velvety, depravity, set against the stark, wintery concrete of the buildings of cold war Europe.
Fine acting and a wonderfully accurate period feel can't make up for the fact that this is a bum-numbingly dull two hours building to a spectacularly brilliant climax. Make no mistake, the last twenty minutes is what you pay your money to go and see and is everything you want from a Tarantino movie. However, the rest is self-indulgent and flabby. At heart, we have a buddy movie where a washed-out actor, Rick Dalton and his bessie mate, stunt double, Cliff Booth lark about in the various back lots of 1969 Hollywood studios. Played by the excellent Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt who seize the roles with gusto, it is a shame that all they are given to do is navel gaze. It could have been a sparkling, witty, joyous movie (and indeed there are glimpses of what could have been) but I was left bored and disappointed.
The money spent on making this over bloated, confused monstrosity could have been used to build a hospital. Or save the rhino. Either option would have been infinitely better.
This feels like a butch of students were given some cash to make a movie. Not media students. Not drama students. Probably dental students. It's as if a bunch of dentists made a movie....and argued a lot while they were making it.
What's with all the negative reviews of this movie? I don't understand! I'm no fan of the group Motley or the genre of music they perform but I did thoroughly enjoy this over the top biopic about the history of the group. I did know a little bit about them and know that there are some significant gaps in the story with key characters absent from the movie but even so, the excess and debauchery on the screen is staggering. There are some horrific scenes of drug use and the way that members of the group treat women is shocking but I did end up with an admiration for the sheer ability that these guys have to survive despite the odds and they are actually quite a likeable bunch. I can't say I'm going to rush out to buy any of their albums but the score for this film was great and as ridiculously OTT as their costumes and stage shows. I'm not sure that there's much here for hard core fans of the group but for those of us with a passing interest, this makes for a funny, outrageous and enjoyable spectacle.