“Melancholia” is a movie directed by Lars von Trier and stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbour, and Keifer Sutherland. It’s the story of the reaction of two sisters to the impending collision of the earth with another planet. Never mind the whole planet collision gimmick, but rather focus on the main characters. Dunst plays Justine, a woman with a major depression. She makes her wedding a fiasco with her hopelessness and helplessness. She is anhedonic and, at times, almost catatonic. She drives her new husband away at the conclusion of her wedding. Justine’s sister Claire is together and strong. Yet when faced with impending doom, their strengths become weaknesses and their weaknesses become strengths.
The cinematography is beautiful. The soundtrack mostly relies on the beautiful Prelude to “Tristan and Isolde” by Wagner, but it is punctuated at times with a low rumbling. It is very effective.
Dunst is superb. If she doesn’t get nominated for one of the major awards, I will be greatly disappointed. She understands depression and how devastating it can be. Of course, it’s no coincidence that the name of the planet taking aim at earth is called Melancholia.
This movie has yet to be released to theaters, but is having a preliminary showing OnDemand. This is a great film, save the action taken by Sutherland’s character that seems contrived. But it worth spending two hours to understand how our strengths and weaknesses are two-edged swords, depending on the circumstances.