I don't know why I rented this feature, but I was bored. Truthfully I was expecting something so awful that I would be able to rant on about it for hours. At least that was what professional reviewers had done. Was it awful? No. Was it good? No. This film was packed with many good ideas and many bad ideas all mashed together in one very amazing looking jumble. Now some of that jumble was deliberate. But the bigness of visual images only succeeded in adding more confusion. Note to filmmakers, either you want to make a music video or you want to make a film. Please pick one.
The disjointed story was about a young girl only known by a fantasy nickname Babydoll. A product of an abusive home, she accidentally kills her younger sister in an attempt to protect her from their father. This results in her being sent to a mental institution. The film then switches to a variety of fantastical wonderlands that the heroine uses to cope with her situation. However all the heroine experiences turns out to be void because she sacrifices herself for a fellow inmate. Or did she? This is the good idea swimming around this visual mess. In essence the whole film is layer upon layer of fantasy. We never see the true reality or the true face of the heroine. We only see bits of it, the sad parents waiting in the visiting room or the look between the two sides of the heroine (one bedraggled and the other angelic), the psychologist, the orderlies and an impending lobotomy. Was the heroine abused by a money grubbing father or was she just a mentally disturbed runaway from a good home? The film strongly suggests that the unseen heroine is using the fantasy of Babydoll as a protection against reality. The abuse may not have been a father but a father figure in the person of the head orderly. This abuse was sexual which ties into why the film looks like some kind of anime pornographic bad joke. Many reviewers were confused by the sexualization of the heroine during her "dance". But that was only the fantasy. The reality underneath was that the orderly had his "visits" and what we see is the heroine's escape from that into her own mind. It is also understandable that a young girl being abused by the men she is supposed to trust would lead to a lot of skewed visions of male figures in the film.
However these good story ideas are dragged down by the visual mess that the film sets to music like some kind of crazed music video. These were the scenes that were supposed to be exciting but they just bored me. The music in the film wasn't that interesting either. It was just overplayed pieces of music (Army of Me, White Rabbit etc.) that the film industry regularly uses to denote the crazy. All of the music was old, none of it new. Note to my fellow Generation Xers, we ain't young anymore. Bjork music is now almost 20 years old. She isn't what the youngsters are listening to voluntarily. And Jefferson Airplane isn't even on their radar anymore than Bjork.
The acting? Meh. There isn't much acting to be called for when the actors are only props in a silent music video with a lot of CGI special effects.
My recommendation for this film is to watch it if you like visual extravaganzas and always keep in mind that the film is a wayward mess.
Labels: filmmaking, reviews