Saturday, 23 April 2016

REVIEW - LOUDER THAN BOMBS (JOACHIM TRIER)


Joachim Trier: the go-to guy for white people problems. That's less of an issue when he's home in Norway, a country where approximately >98% of the population is white anyway. And, in many ways, it's hardly an issue at all - he's the go-to guy for a good reason, since he captures not only the feeling but the essence of this middle-class ennui, its causes and its effects, like few other filmmakers today, if any. And yet it remains an issue, for as monstrous as these problems may be to those experiencing them, to the audience they're old hat, and an ugly old hat at that. Louder Than Bombs is a collage of white people problems, acutely diagnosed and expertly delineated, though as silly and as shallow in their construction as they are in their depiction, and almost as self-pitying. Sensitive writing establishes their nature, clever editing exposes their surprising complexity, smart performances realise their depth, but nothing in Louder Than Bombs ever truly explains why they actually exist. Trier and Eskil Vogt are too intelligent to make their film about anything as commonplace as grief, nor as simplistic as moving on from it - it's a knottier truth they seek out, a curious combination of both, situated some years after the event, its realities still revealing themselves, still causing repercussions. They examine their concerns with a glacial reserve, reflecting the approaches of their rich, privileged subjects, so tethered to them that they fail to appreciate the broader context, the real issue that's bothering us, the audience: why? Why these people? Why these reactions? And, most pertinently of all, why the single tear trickling down the wind-brushed cheek?