Bland, emotionless, pointless, mildly annoying
K. Doyle | Los Angeles | 08/09/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"For at least the first 90 minutes (all I was able to stand), the actors are virtually emotionless. In fact, I thought they must be on drugs. Consequently, a narrator has to explain everything because you otherwise can't tell from the sedated performances. The Tom character incessantly grows more and more insipid and annoying. Even the kid is an annoying jerk, just wanting to be spanked by Grace, obviously because he gets a charge out of it...
So, by the time the rape scene started I figured it was time to move on and skipped through to the end. I could see where it was going and frankly, had no interest in plodding any further along with it. As a fable, allegory or metaphor, it merely ended up disconnected, unrealistic, moralistic and preachy if anything at all, and ultimately, not very interesting or poignant.
If this is what Von Trier really thinks of human nature, American or otherwise, I pity the poor fool. If he's trying to make some kind of deep allegorical statement about anything, American imperialism, immigration, human nature, or whatever, the overly simplistic plot just falls on it's face. I don't care if he's been to America or not, he's simply a lousy storyteller here. Sophomoric and pointless.
Aptly named though, the movie IS truly a dog. To sum up (spoiler), it sets up a contrived situation where a bunch of vapid and unsympathetic characters start out sorta nice but for no good reason end up acting like complete jerks towards an outsider which is then used to justify blowing them away-- the end. Ultimately, the outsider and her "dad" are just as vapid and unsympathetic as everyone else. There, I just saved you three hours."
Truly Remarkable Film Theatre
J. Saunders-Singer | Somerset UK | 04/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Suspend disbelief as you are drawn into this beautifully staged piece of cinematography. All the areas of your brain are triggering lightning bolts of neurological activity as your appreciation to the simplicity of it all focusses the receptors to each and every character. Real acting, real issues, small town nastiness and extreme tension simmers and keeps you riveted to your seat till the very end. When was the last time you experienced superb theatre from the comfort of your own armchair? This is a must see."
Reaping the wind...
Steven Cain | Temporal Quantum Pocket | 06/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dogville works on many levels, but I suggest that it is primarily an allegory of almost Biblical proportions.
This is mainly confirmed near the end, when the true power dynamic is revealed and the apocalyptic ending unfolds in dramatic fashion.
There are many sub-themes on the journey to the Apocalypse, including slavery, witch hunts, racism and the suppression/exploitation of women, but for me, the greatest commentary is the way it plays out an almost Christian hybrid of Old/New Testament values.
When we discover Grace's relationship to the unknown man in the limo, there is almost a suggestion that she was 'sent' into Dogville, the way Jesus Christ was sent to Earth in order to teach by example and transform people's lives and thinking, only to be ultimately persecuted and betrayed.
The stark, Old Testament 'payback' ending will shock some viewers and be uplifting to others, depending on whom you identify with during the story unfoldment.
It is a long and at times slow movie, but if you can work with the deliberately minimalist theater-like sets, it is well worth your time."