The aestheticization of trauma and sorrow, with self-indulgent nods to Gus Van Sant and Michael Haneke. I was expecting (or rather, hoping for) a final revelation à la Antonio Campos (Afterschool) but the CCTV footage at the beginning is just a MacGuffin and the frequent Google Streetview maps just redundant (a metaphor for disorientation?). And what about the fog at the end? An homage to John Carpenter?
It's going for mood and a bit of existential contemplation. It is just really slow. The acting is solid and so realistic that it almost seems like a documentary. And then the mood just digs in at somber level 1000 and never lets up. Some good camerawork and a very interesting final shot that makes you wonder what the P.O.V. is, and the answer might have caused me to wish that the entire movie was more like that.
Violet is the kind of cinema where narrative is reduced to almost nothing, which brings the poetry of sounds and images on the foreground. Though the film seems a bit too much in love with its own flou artistique, as a cinematic mood piece this debut from Bas Devos is a refreshing addition to the new crop of young Flemish filmmakers who started flourishing around DOP Nicolas Karakatsanis.