“What are you doing Lars Von Trier? Okay, I’m going to go along with it because I like him.” Beautiful still images, more extreme slow motion images set to music. “I can’t. He’s got to start the movie. If I want to see still images, I’ll go to a museum. Please start the movie!!!!!!!”

That’s a snippet of my internal monologue during the first few excruciating minutes of Melancholia. Maybe it’s a symptom of the digital age or the fact that I’m part of the MTV generation but I have no patience for this type of painterly, extended type of montages, at least not at the start of a film.

Unlike previous Von Trier films Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, which had a cohesive structure and well developed characters although they both left me feeling suicidal, Melancholia has only the bare outlines of characters and no story for the viewer to grasp onto. The basic premise of the film is that a planet is on a collision course with earth and the end of mankind may be only days away. Unfortunately, it feels like it’s the movie that is days away from ending.

The film is divided into two parts, each seen from the point of view of a pair of sisters. It starts out with the fittingly melancholic bride Justine (you see the symmetry there), played by Kirsten Dunst. The action or lack thereof, takes place at an elaborate wedding reception held for her and bridegroom Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) at her sister Claire’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg) estate. I won’t go into any detail about what occurs at the reception because it’s not in any way interesting. Suffice it to say that Justine spends the entire time morosely and aimlessly walking around and rudely disappearing on her guests.

I did laugh out loud once in the film when Claire grabs the bouquet from an inert Justine and throws it over the balcony because that’s exactly what my urge was. Just throw the damn bouquet already bitch.

The latter half of the movie centers on Claire and her family; husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) and young son Leo (Cameron Spurr). Claire spends her time sneaking on the computer to check on the planet’s trajectory and taking care of a nearly somnambulant Justine who occasionally emerges from her catatonic state to insult her sister.

If you believe that every moment of life is precious and shouldn’t be wasted, then you can rejoice in the fact that I lost two priceless hours of my life to save you from doing the same. You can thank me in the comments below.

The best thing about Melancholia is knowing that these people will not be around much longer because I for one could not wait for these privileged, infinitely annoying White people to die.

 

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