A detective in remote Bhutan investigating a disappearance becomes entwined with his chief suspect, an enigmatic, seductive woman referred to as Demoness. Using her for information, he falls deeper into an abyss of crime and magic before surrendering to the possibility of a supernatural resolution.
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There was something reminiscent of Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World to my mind here: a detective on an existential investigation – slow and methodical, vibrant and mysterious. And the moral of connection over material wealth resonated for me.
Perhaps the key to the Bhutanese' reputed happiness is a languid pace. This film oozes along, allowing plenty of time to consider how their culture shapes characters and situations in ways quite different from Western cultures. This, along with the glimpses into Bhutan daily life, mythology, and gender roles/relations, captivates the viewer.
An Oriental take on a traditional Western detective story about corruption. While I appreciate Dechen Roder’s ambitious endeavor to get Western people more exposed to the culture and traditions of her native land, I can’t say that the story was original enough to keep me involved. The acting and setting are brilliant, but the story feels safe, westernized, “abridged” for the taste of the European festival audience.
He's a detective. She's a little crazy. "And then the nuns turned into pigs." He's trying to help her, because she's the main suspect in a murder that may or may not have happened. Did I mention she's a little crazy? "And she turned into a rainbow." But it's another case of bewitched, bothered and bewildered. Because she's also very beautiful. Ultimately it's about saving the environment. Which is good.
An extremely disappointing film marked by many weaknesses. These stem from the monolithic acting, the procrastinated pauses and glances in shots devoid of indexical value; the same goes for the location shooting which captures the misty landscape divorced from the sacred mysticism to which the film alludes. Thus, the opposition between tradition and modernity suffers from a long and rhythmically languorous narrative.
The way it began among misty mountains and forests of Bhutan with supernatural and folk influences was very promising. Unfortunately it has become rather trivial detective story with imperfect script and really dull dialogues.
It's not perfect, some of the transitions between magic realism and crime thriller are clunky - but this film drew me in! I preferred the rural scenes, here the cinematography and soundtrack are a treat. Considering this is Roder's debut feature, it's very good and I look forward to seeing what she does next.