Monday, July 21, 2008

The (Very Late) ORPHANAGE Review

I FINALLY saw The Orphanage (hold your applause until the end, please.)

Wow, what a haunting film. I can't think of a movie I've seen recently that touched so many emotions in me. Maybe PAN'S LABYRINTH was the last. This film held true to my expectations of a creepy ghost story - but it delivered so much more. In the last twenty minutes, the film elevates itself above the typical haunted ghost story into a work of art depicting insanity, fear, grief, and hope. This is a very powerful film.

****** SPOILERS *********

A couple of notes:

I've noticed that ever since I've become a father, it is much more difficult for me to watch a young child die on screen. It is especially difficult for me when the child dies alone - as was the case with Simon. The vision of Simon - dead on the cold floor of that basement - haunts me still this morning.

Also, it bothered me that Laura committed suicide. I just felt it cheapened her story - a convenient plot device, but not something that I held entirely true to her character. After all, Simon was going to die anyway at some point - that was clear from his illness. And it bothers me when seemlingly noble characters take this "selfish" route (it rarely seems like a tragic act to me anymore). Laura gets rewarded for killing herself by reuniting with her son and finding happiness. I would have preferred an ending where Laura simply died from grief. That is a more tragic ending to me, and a much more noble death.

4 comments:

gdeo said...

well it's about time Parker(webmaster of "del Toro Films")haha! I'm glad you enjoyed it..it is a great film...miss you ,bud!

Nancy Sparks said...

I just watched "The Orphanage" last night- I just happened to see it sitting there all alone on the video store shelf and when I saw Del Toro's name, I had to rent it, being a HUGE fan of Pan's Labyrinth and Hell Boy. I loved this movie!! Score another one for Del Toro- this movie brought out so many different emotions while watching it, fear, anxiety, sorrow, anger. I will definitely recommend it to everyone I know!!

Löst Jimmy said...

Glad you finally got to see this Parker, it is indeed a wonderful film.

divejunkie said...

This movie is amazing! It's haunting and heartbreaking! I disagree with the host in his opinion of the suicide. It's true that her character should have been stronger based on her history, but she was dealing, not only with her son's death, but with the her GUILT as she realized she locked him down there. As a mom, there is nothing worse that feeling you are responsible for harm to your child in any way. That is what drove her to kill herself. I think it was actually a very accurate reaction to her tragedy.

Anyway, the film is one for the books!