Sonntag, 6. Juli 2014

Filmfest München: 2つ目の窓 (Still the Water)

The goat-killing, as terribly cruel as it looks, is probably the most moving thing about Japanese writer/director Naomi Kawase's island-set existential drama "2つ目の窓 (Still the Water)". Serving as a violent reminder of how powerless we are in the grip of mortality and the futility of struggle, it's not the most subtle of metaphors, but at least in these scenes we're just fed the savage imagery and don't get the message further spelled out in monologue or voice-over form, recited with exclamation for the hearing-and-comprehension-impaired.

That the filmmaker feels driven, even compelled to pay tribute to the mysteries of life and death, man and nature, is plain to see, and those are surely profound subjects that have fascinated the human species for as long as time. But imparting wisdom about the fundamental questions of our being through bluntly worded dialogue exchanged without sufficient context is just not the way to go. As undercooked as the plot of this movie and in-your-face the directorial style, the reverence soon gets lost in crude execution and comes across as incredibly childish.

Unsatisfactory also on a technical level, the film's cinematography lacks depth and dexterity, it also features numerous night scenes that are evidently underlit. The ample shots of mountain ridges, beaches, waves and trees, or those of the young couple on a bike whizzing along the coastline are certainly lovely, but these things rather can't look any other way.

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