Low and behold, Herzog actually manages to make one of his better films here, where i was least expecting it. Works in pretty much all the ways that Bad Lieutenant didn't, and the Lynch collab seems to have brought the best out of both their sensibilities (which from watching this i actually realize are more similar than i once might have though). Too bad the cinematography is so hideously washed-out looking in the worst possible way.
A typically strange and idiosyncratic Herzog film, brilliantly staged and captured with swift hand-held camerawork. Unfortunately it's a bit hindered by some spotty acting, an overactive and incongruous score, and its amorphous structure. There are a lot of good ideas, though, and several scenes border on greatness.
I can't say I would go out of my way to recommend this to someone. You can make obvious comparisons with the bird focus similar to that of the reptiles in 'Bad Lieutenant'(they were released at the same festival so maybe they compliment each other). The long pausing shots of the cast just staring into the camera as in waiting for you to expect something dramatic to happen just continue to challenge conventions making this a unique horror. My hard on for anything Herzog knows no bounds.
There are interesting elements here, playing around with Greek tragedy and other odd moments, but the central character is in this case no Aguirre, or Fitzcarraldo, or Stroszek. Instead, the film comes across as a rather mundane, if quirky, case study about mental illness, that leaves this viewer, at least, wondering what Herzog is really trying to do in his narrative films these days.
This isn't a great movie to seen if you don't particularly feel like delving into its obscure, and for me unrewarding, depths. The performances are difficult to judge as they are purposefully stilted, and the film was shot with a harsh aesthetic that I didn't appreciate. I much prefer this kind of symbolism be buried in an interesting narrative rather than laid bare on the surface of such an unapproachable affair.
I have to say, I thought the subject matter was very interesting and that the overall structure of the film worked well. There was always a kind of disconnect held between the real world and Ben's world. However, the acting, which I must assume was intentionally bland and forced, was quite distracting rather than effective.
This is a very strange and weird movie. The script has several strange characters but it does not really work overall. You need more then some weird characters for a movie to work. The cast has a number of good actors that deserve better material.
What a delightful mess. At this point Herzog seems to be more interested in playing with his style and your expectations about it than actually crafting a readable, emotionally moving picture. But what the hell, it works for me.
This feels exactly like what you expect a Lynch/Herzog collaboration to feel like. The obsessive madness of Herzog, the melodramatic strangeness of Lynch. There are some wonderful moments here, even a couple of transcendent ones. The cast is a nice mix of oddballs. I was unsure about Michael Shannon and Chloe Sevigny at first, but they grew on me a lot. Terrific music, too. The pieces don't necessarily add up to much, but for the most part they're compelling pieces.
I don't really know what to say. The plot was interesting, but it was to slow. Michael Shannon did a good job as always, everyone else was alright I guess. I feel like the movie is trying to be deep or abstract, and it just fails at that. It wasn't necessarily a bad movie, there are parts I enjoyed, but it just doesn't feel very memorable or important.
There is just nothing of genuine interest or accomplishment going on here -- not the acting, not the script, not the score, not the lighting (hideous, by the way) -- nothing. There are a few genuinely (bizarrely) funny Herzog-ian moments that do make it barely worth watching for completists, but I'm afraid that's really about it.
Herzog got a bit lazy with this movie, but the small scope and experimentation with narrative only makes the descent into madness feel authentic. I especially loved the dialogs. I dislike Shannon in most movies, but boy can he act given a good role. The only disappointment was that we actually did not get to see midget riding an ostrich.
Awkward dialogue and some really ludicrous moments keep this film from working well for me. It almost seemed like a parody of Lynch: for instance, Herzog shows that Grace Zabriskie staring vacantly into space can be made to look weird by anyone. In spite of this, the film is nicely shot and makes me enthusiastic about the future of digital cinematography.
herzog and lynch trying to out-weird each other, i guess. the main character isn't very interesting, and the dialogue is on the terrible side, but it's visually classic herzog, with really cool colours, random exotic animals, and lazy meandering handheld.