stranger than fiction - Ailbhe
If this movie were indeed a fiction, it would be branded as excessive, contrived and far fetched. It is the fact that such a series of events happened that is the somewhat prurient draw. From the start we are drawn in by the style, extreme beauty, wealth and social standing of this couple. It is clear that the level of wealth connected to Brook Baekeland's family was enormous, having practically invented plastic. However, the next layer of intrigue reveals itself in a couple of scenes where the couple seem to delight in insulting and humiliating each other publicly and for a while it seems that this fuels some strange sexual tension. At its core though, the film suggests that the husband suffers from some kind of a depression, no doubt added to by his total aimlessness in life. His wife on the other hand appears to live in a somewhat fantasy world. They move from place to place living as high class nomads. The father finally abandons his family very callously by running off with his son's girlfriend. Ironically it is fairly obvious that the son is homosexual, but the father's abandonment devastates the mother and son. They never really recover. Their drinking and drug taking is excessive, and their behavior at best is bohemian but ultimately ends up as incestuous. The film seems to imply that the mother had sex with her son only in an attempt to help him to like women. The son had long since lost his grip on reality and was lapsing into a paranoid and distorted world, which finally leads to the devastating consequences.
Review published on the 25 July 2008 22:19
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