Sunday, 26 January 2014

REVIEW - BIG BAD WOLVES


Pure proof that you can't polish a turd. You might be able to turn the turd into a meaningful work of art, or the very statement of the turd itself into the same, but no amount of spit and shine could ever make it any more than just a turd. Should Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado be applauded for attempting to draw something more artistically credible from their torture porn narrative shell? Or should they be ridiculed for not believing that this artistic credibility is nullified by its blatancy and its cliche? What actually imbues Big Bad Wolves with meaning is its comic value, which for me was low, but the limitless subjectivity of comedy is a factor there, and so I won't denounce a film's humour as a failure just for the fact that it didn't completely connect with me. It's decently-mounted comedy. As decently-mounted as the rest of this film, perhaps, and as unsuccessful. Its most troubling feature is its attitude toward police brutality. I'm the last person to rail against irresponsibility in film, and the first to laugh when someone gets hurt, but the vindication, bordering on heroism, of sickeningly violent cop Micki's deplorable actions turned my stomach. The supposed irony of his behaviour is treated as a source of mirth, while equally depraved characters are depicted as vile and vicious. The final shot is the strongest possible way for Keshales and Papushado to laud Micki for the dreadful cruelty he so horribly inflicted on suspected paedophile Dror, and the film's eagerness to prey on public hysteria surrounding sexual perversions of any manner is even more distasteful. Keshales and Papushado have crafted a slick, shallow film, with signs of individuality occasionally coming to light and with satisfactory, though bland, stylistic credits.