Five gigantic sinkholes have recently been discovered on a remote plateau on the other side of the world. A team of experts has made the trip to descend into the depths. Among them is professor Georges Lebrun, who has come with his wife.
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It doesn't matter if this film can be understood. It's vague enough to be interpreted in many different ways. What matters is that it evokes an emotional response at a visceral level. It makes you feel and think and that's good enough.
In this fascinating metaphysical counter-remake of The Descent, Barraud plays with prosopagnosia with delightful results (the same theme returns in Portrait of an Artist, by the way). There are echoes of Emmanuel Carrere (The Moustache) and layers upon layers of metaphors. I love the format as well: 65 minutes, not a minute too long, not a minute too short. A truly immersive experience with lasting impact.
This film is best described as an "experience" - mysterious, tense, scary... It's like a distant vague memory, or perhaps a feeling, very ambiguous, and that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The 60 minute format works very well, and seems like a perfect choice. I imagine this might not be everyone's cup of tea, I loved it - a unique, hidden gem.
65m is about right for this tale of a woman sinking literally and metaphorically. Quakes, sinkholes under beds, strange encounters, operatic emotions in playback...the various elements do not gel together, and I was disappointed not to get a bit more of Mathieu Amalric in it (playing opposite but not really alongside former partner Boutefeu, which adds another twist). Intriguing, worth-seeing feature.
Beautifully disturbing. To descend this sinkhole with her, felt like being in an intense state of mental apnea.
Magnifiquement dérangent. Descendre ce gouffre avec elle me donna le sentiment d'être dans un état intense d'apnée mental.
Had the potential to be interesting and affecting, but the filmmakers failed to create enough backstory for the characters and therefore I found it hard to be invested in the story or to feel empathy or remorse for the characters and their situation. The film is short, but somehow felt too long, and that's never a good thing.
It's a portrait of a woman sinking - cryptic and incomprehensible at times, as we immerse ourselves into her mind and psyche. Luckily, the film changed course when it was getting too lost into fantasy, and bounced back into reality before it sunk into the same hole.