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Trier’s Nymphomaniac: A Sex Odyssey Review

February 1, 2014

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Lars Von Trier’s talent has always been based on his unprecedent capacity to shock and surprise his followers through his overtly provocative, overtly visual and overtly critical take on society’s moral or more often than not immoral rules.
This time around, he focuses on sex excess with his usual cast and always troublesome Charlotte Gainsbourg. What’s interesting about his latest film, is that unlike his previous, melancholic heavy drama palava, Nymphomaniac is somewhat on a lighter almost comical mood at times, due to the stark contrast between the cultural naivete of his heroine and the abundance of knowledge of the male virgin character Seligman.
Although Joe’s journey is separated into two visually identical, occasionally too commercial and explicit volumes, the two films are quite different. In the first part, the viewer is exposed to the chronicles of her sex addict life, without necessarily exposing any character development but more of a shock tactic visual symposium. On the second part, Charlotte’s character is finally revealed and shows the transfomation of the woman who is more than aware of her victimhood to her raw, untamed sexual insticts.
Trier manages to flaunt all his views on human nature and society (whether on the lethal human nature, on pedophilia, religion, motherhood, s&m etc) in a way that only he knows how. His only problem is that towards the end, in an effort to cover too many topics, the films becomes almost a victim of social cliches and ends up being lisible rather than scriptible, losing its credibility.
For all the rest, God and Trier created pussy and penis for a reason.
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