Cruel and troubling. Larrain's film has no love for the people it presents, but it gives them time regardless. Not so they can redeem themselves, or to humanize them to our empathy, but to educate us to the extent of of their evil, to its everyday appearance and habits. Troubling and cruel.
The film refuses easy access to characters' interior lives; all you have is each person's word to balance against the infinity of possible "truths" that the words might be masking. (The Cinemascope aesthetic further fogs up your view of the priests' psychic lives). Victimhood cannot be easily ascribed to any given person: each connives and plots after their own unique desires. To repent would mean to give desire up.
It is definitely a memorable film, it carries a strong content and makes one shudder at the mere idea of the depths this sort of evil comes from and wonder about its origins - on some level it's got this Lynch or von Trier effect, where the human element is so realistic and reeks of sadism. Makes you cringe in your seat.. A necessary film but oh so hard to watch..
An elegantly difficult film, I appreciated it's honest and scathing perspective on a trying subject. I find religious folks are often portrayed in extremes in cinema, either one dimensional saints or villians or fools. This film tried to add nuance but it also lacked entirely in grace. I'm grateful I watched it but I'm not sure what to make of it.
As film art, despite the use of Cinemascope to harvest ravishing (if you'll forgive the term in this context) visuals from its coastal Chilean nowheresville setting, The Club is less interesting and more linear than Larrain's earlier work. But this wrenching, ambivalent corrective to the simplistic moralizing understandably endemic to examinations of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is no small achievement.
Larraín and his team only falter on the unabashed misanthropy and its constant excesses to make an argument all too familiar for Chilean standards, but his storytelling remains gripping and sharp within its own limitations, which makes one conclude that Larrain's understanding of narrative devices is getting better, however banal or belligerent they might be at the moment.
This faith tale puts together a beautiful cast to showcase their best: it's painfully devastating: layer after layer after layer of awkwardness and catholic guilt delight. Larraín builds a very atmospheric diegesis - it's an odd world for odd sins. Caught me choking on some scenes: like the church, they are intense and cruel.
Interesting visually; beautiful, desolate location seems to match the subject matter and adds to the mood. The cinematography is strong fully utilising the spectacular location. All of this is great, however watching this film I felt it tries hard to be controversial; isn't it obvious priests are as human (therefore flawed) as anyone else? I'm not a religious person, maybe that's why I didn't find the topic engaging.
Grim. Isolated from the world a quartet of 'spoiled priests' and a sinister ex-nun live their miserable (dogs) lives, literally on the edge. The film wallows in a cesspit of depravities that Holy Mother Church dared not publicly acknowledge. There is little sign of redemption here - even in the Christ-like confessor and victim. A tad homophobic, but there is nothing 'gay' about these characters.