Some elusive quality pulled this up from a 3 to a 4 over the course of the film's last 30 minutes, when suddenly it all got kind of brilliant. As if Glawogger's refusal to cater to the desire for moralistic simplification forces the viewer's brain to a broadening of perspective. A sort of objective empathy. The opposite of Von Trier.
Explores the power dynamics between the classes. Two cruel & callous rich boys fetishise & exploit the poor, vulnerable, marginalised for their own whims. The film's eventual journeying to Jakarta draws links between the exploitation of the urban western poor with colonialism, tourism & Orientalism. All this without resorting to polemic. Destitute street poet Franz Kallman is the film's big beating heart. Wonderful.
Amazing what some people will do for kicks! Great acting, and at times it had the feel of a documentary. I love his film making and intend to get everything of his I can get my hands on. Michael Glawogger was a crazy genius.
I loved the uncompromising nature of the characters - Kallman who doesn't try to be loveable but remains coarse, rugged and real, Pia - who doesn't become the embodiment of the feminine pastiche but a solid chick who chooses to go home alone, Alex - who waivers between being a funny-man's wingman and victim when his moral woes catch up to him.