Melancholia: A Review of Reviews

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

review of the movie MelancholiaThis article is a review of the movie Melancholia…sort of.

At the beginning of each New Year, we are exposed to many lists. One list that I always like to look at is the Top Ten Movies of the Year. This year, one movie on many lists was the movie Melancholia, which I just view this past weekend.

Movies with a name like Melancholia are never my first choice. It could have been named “Depressola”, “Suicidala”, “Disspirititula”, “Demoraliza” or any such word with highly negative connotations. In the end, the name of the movie is Melancholia because a comet named Melancholia may or may not hit and destroy the earth any ‘ole day now.

Granted, for many, the idea of the earth being destroyed is a bummer. Don’t get me wrong—this is not an end of the world thriller. Will Smith ain’t gonna step and save the world. The movie is three somber people reacting to this scenario: one is manic-depressive, another has paranoid personality disorder (yes, that’s a real condition—I just Googled it), and the third is an annoying type-a problem solver who never cracks a smile.

The movie is definitely Melancholic. If you are moved by depressed, disoriented people, you will find your need for sympathetic feelings deeply satisfied. If not, you have another choice: walk out on the movie or don’t watch it at all.

Which brings me to my review of reviews of Melancholia. After seeing a movie like Melancholia, I love to know what people think. Discussions of this type of movie always bring out arguments between the so-called artsy crowd and the other 90%, the people who make Two and Half Men the most-watched comedy in America.

And when I head to the discussion boards of Melancholia, I am not disappointed.

The first post I came across was called How many walked out when you saw this? The reviewer states:

“Monday night, I went to a free preview of this film. After about 30 minutes, a few people left, and I would say that 2 left about every 10 or 15 minutes after that, for a total of at least 40 (in front of me. Don’t know about behind) I wonder if they would have stayed had they paid?

At the end, the moron behind me said loud enough for the entire theatre to hear “I’m SO glad I didn’t pay to watch THAT!”

So, if you walked out of this movie, you are not alone. You probably also like Two and a Half Men. It’s ok—so do I.

Then, of course, someone responds:

“It’s because people go in expecting it to be some kind of sci-fi action film with Kiefer Sutherland saving the world or some sh!t like that.”

Some sh!t like that? Oh, you must mean a movie that is actually good.

Another post is entitled So how about dem tits? The reviewer (Charlie Harper?) says:

“Most surprising thing for me was how great of a rack Kirsten Dunst had. …Better view than melancholia from earth if you ask me.”

Is this not priceless? The guy sees a movie of great depth and magnitude, considered by many to be the best movie of the whole year, and he comments on Kirsten Dunst’s great rack. All I have to say is…right on brother, I thought the same thing! If you are interested, there is a three-page discussion on the reality of the rack.

Great stuff. The reviews of Melancholia are certainly more entertaining than the movie.

My favorite posts are always when the artsy people and the Two and Half Men people hash it out, like in a post called pretentious rubbish. One person calls the movie an “unmitigated bore” and gets responses like “troll” and “you’re an idiot who should just stick with Batman.”

Reviewing the reviews of Meloncholia has made the movie worth it. Would I recommend it? Probably…but expect to feel empty afterward. Then go to the IMDB boards and be uplifted again by the diversity of humanity.

Or, better yet, watch Warrior. It made many top ten lists too and is a great movie with no need for supplemental activities!

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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