A spiral staircase movie, a never-ending metaphysical game of cat-and-mouse, a moral aspiration to the Heavens, a “spotlight” on God, a scornful detective movie, a horror movie and frightful, high-octane baroque work—Possession is all of that at once.
Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill square off in this legendary cult film from Polish visionary Andrzej Żuławski, a maddening psychological horror that explores, in bloody detail, the breakdown of a marriage. For her work, Adjani won the Best Actress prize at both Cannes and the Césars.
Polanski, Lynch and Cronenberg fused into this gem of horror. This film is genius and the director more so. It's a really fascinating story that makes sense although not in the conventional way movies make sense.
Possession's emotional ride provides no breathers, only plateaux of tension from which to ascend to greater levels of destruction. Neill wallows in his pain, but it turns out that earthly heartbreak betrays his lack of imagination. In pulling the rug out from under Neill's concept of loss, Adjani offers him an odd form of "getting over it". Her trip to hell makes Rosemary's Baby look like an episode of Scooby Doo.
Men should be MASCULINE, which is opposite to NATURE, nature always changes, but what does not change is the CONSCIOUS state of ETERNITY. The masculine is ETERNITY. Like the stars and their constellations, they are FIXED. NATURE cannot be nature without the FIXED STATE of the Cosmos. A woman is like NATURE, she always changes in emotions, constantly. But a man should be like the SUN..... Just kidding. KILL THE BITCH.
360 degree tracking, harsh lateral camera movements, imposing performances, discordant dialogue. Cold War business, tyrannical architecture & decor, hatred of bureaucracy: I have no real idea where it all leads. Doubling, religiosity, murderous spouses. Zulawski is assured, & it's all impressive in a disconnected sort of way. 'Harrowing' is a suitable descriptor, but its mysteries cannot touch those of LE RAYON VERT.
Trying to decide whether this is a transgressive cinematic Bohemian Rhapsody or an unmitigated, over-reaching mess. There's definite talent; I get how demonic possession and mental health dysfunction have been deemed parallel (albeit very speculative), and I understand the satirical nous, but Żuławski's trademark histrionics lose their allegorical edge very quickly. Audacious but wonky. 3.5