My rating: 8
IMDB rating: 7.4
I love seeing a film that is unlike any other I have seen before. It is like having your first kiss over and over again. As you can guess, this film is exactly like that in many different ways…
The first surprise in this film is the protagonist, if we can call him that. He is vicious, ruled by his emotions (although he is never fully in touch with them), scarred and also, I believe, scared. You cannot help but hate him for his violence and substance abuse, but still you root for him because through the course of the film, one can understand where he is coming from.
Mutilated as a child, he is literally neutered or castrated like the cows on their farm. Like these cattle, he is not in possession of rational thought and with the addition of the hormones that he injects himself with, he is lethal. He is also obsessive, as his constant voyeuristic tendencies toward Lucia show.
I do not believe that he is truly the person that his abuse of hormones and love of violence portrays him as. When faced with Bruno, the one who mutilated him aa a child, he can finally take his revenge- yet, he doesn’t, he simply scares him and by doing so shows some mercy towards someone who is unable to defend himself (just as he was unable to defend himself when he was that little boy in the field).
It maybe all comes down to our commercialised idea of masculinity, especially towards the sexual. When does Jacky become more violent? When he is made aware of his neutered state in a sexual situation. He beats up the guy who is with Lucia in the club, because he took Lucia away. In the final scenes in the elevator, he reaches the ultra-violent state when his sexual advances is rejected by Lucia.
He truly turns animalistic, in other words, his transformation into a bull, is complete, when his past, his substance abuse and his masculine failure all come together. And it is sad to see this decline of a character that you have actually been rooting for, but that is one of the best qualities of this movie; its ability to blur the lines between good and evil, especially when it comes to Jacky.
I gave this film an 8 because of its uniqueness, but it certainly is not an easy film to watch. Going into this movie I was warned about the explicit violence and the warnings was not exaggerated, certainly not for the faint-hearted! Still none of the violence weren’t justified, making this movie a must-see!
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