Let’s get paranoid! All of us! Because ”Bug” isn’t just about a couple feeding each other’s lunacy, it’s also about our conspiracy loving culture, the paranoia that’s breeding in the internet like the bugs in Peter’s tooth. Intense stuff. Shannon is a very convincing schizophrenic, and Judd a very touching mistreated character who finds comfort in the sick boy.
Tracy Letts did a great job in transforming his 1996 play into a script. Friedkin in turn adds an uncomfortable subtext by showing flashlike splinters of another reality (or other realities) at specific points (not only at the beginning or during and after the closing credits). The performances of Ashley Judd (especially the variety of facial expressions) and Michael Shannon are stunning and sometimes really creepy.
Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours! == Tennessee WILLIAMS in the Twilight Zone. BILDERBERG group, a bunch of lesbians, many clichés. SHANNON zero charisma. JUDD 100% mad. For lovers of conspiracies. === Tenessee WILLIAMS dans la 4ème dimension. Le groupe BILDERBERG, une lesbienne paumée, bcp de clichés. SHANNON zéro charisme. JUDD 100% barge. Pour amateurs de complots. === After Tracy LETTS's theater play. 2,5/5.
It's easy to look past the too-quick-and-convenient aspect of the mutual descent into madness when you're wrapped up in the lunacy of the lead performances. Masterful direction of a dialogue-heavy script that manages to slip some pitch-black humour into an otherwise tense and pulsating story about both mental illness as well as desperation and loneliness. Beautifully effective small-scale filmmaking.