Friday, July 3, 2015

Review of "Malady", a European downer with plenty of sex

“Malady” is a dark & moody film, slow to build, and very light on the dialogue, but luckily there’s plenty of sex to stave off any depression. It’s on the verge of being an art film, as the nearly 1hr-40min. running time has only about 15 minutes of story within, and even adding to that the 20 minutes of sex, the audience is still left with over an hour of the director/cinematographer basically getting off on his own shot compositions. Granted, the camerawork is often stunning, but there’s just too much “hang time” between any pivotal moments that I found it easy to fall out of the film completely and start to check on things like my laundry, the dishes, and if the pets were fed. If not for the repeated impromptu sex, I may have never finished this film at all.

The story itself is intriguing at first, although more in the way of “why would she even…” than, “ooh, what is this about and where is it going.” The story opens with an attractive girl who is heartbroken at the death of her mother. When she goes out for a meal, she sees a random guy who has all the warning signs of a natural creep: vacant eyes, unkempt beard, and he is a scab-picker. So, against the whim of any intelligent woman, she tracks him down, they have a staring contest, and she decides to go back to his flat with him, no words spoken. Then they fuck – and they fuck a lot in this film. But where Holly should have written this experience off as a one-night stand, her Catholic guilt (or Protestant guilt, or whichever other guilt comes from wearing a cross around your neck) seems to persuade her to stay with Matthew, likely with the idea that she can help him in some way, any way.