Melancholia is the name of the planet that is about to crash on Earth and trace an unhappy fate, more than it already is, for Justine and her family.
But Melancholia is above all the transposition of a state of mind of the director Lars von Trier, a film that tells the story and makes even those who are not affected by it live the depression.
The story is divided into three parts: the prologue shot in CGI and finished in slow-motion shows us the moments of the impact between the Earth and Melancholia, a sort of flash forward with which Lars decides not to generate any suspense with respect to the possible collision, in fact announcing the events of the following two chapters.
A beginning that has in itself the awareness of an end, what remains for us is to understand how to get there.
The narrative continues with the marriage between Michael and Justin, the latter played by Kristen Dustin (who won the Best Actress Award at the 64th Cannes Film Festival), to the notes of the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s Tristan and Isolde.
The psychological introspection of the characters, especially Justine’s, is in the foreground: a perfect description of the depressive disorder from which she is suffering completely gives an idea of what she is feeling, her anxieties, fears, to the point of conditioning us and making us part of the story; a de vivre that becomes more and more suffocating due to the movements of the camera moved by the director’s hand.
The 2011 film is a fascinating work visually rich in symbols and artistic references including John Everett Millais‘ Ophelia.
The scenes are clearly distinguishable thanks to the color correction that separates them between those in warm tones in which feeling and emotion prevails, and cold for those veiled with uncertainty.
Everything is then enveloped in a surreal atmosphere, the same that Polina Washington builds in her shots. Without a shadow of a doubt, the artistic research of the Russian photographer passes through the human body that crumples and bends on itself becoming a set of shapes that create games of light and shadow.
Did you know that: Director Lars von Trier admitted to writing the screenplay under the strong influence of alcohol and drugs. In truth, he has said so for many of his films.
Director: Lars von Trier
Director of Photography: Manuel Alberto Claro
Writer: Lars von Trier
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland