The film begins with a revealing credit: 'Robin Wright at', for this isn't your typical movie. In it, Robin Wright plays a sort of version of herself. In the first half, this is undoubtedly live action, and we see some incredible filmmaking. Indeed, in a sort of film-biz satire but without humour, Wright plays herself melancholy, at the end of her career. It's sad and powerful, heightened by a swooning score, beautiful visuals, and an impressive side performance from Harvey Keitel. For sure, it's an excellent start.
But what of the story from there on? We've seen the failed actress film done a thousand times! But this time it's different. From here on, the movie takes a surreal sci-fi twist, in that the world has been destroyed by humanity. Because of this, people have had to take some sort of hallucinogenic trip-drug that transports them into an animated fantasy. Weird, huh? From here the film gets a little lost: due to the fact that the world is fantasy, the plot becomes insanely complex and untraceable (although it never becomes boring). Despite this, the emotional core is retained perfectly and Folman gets his point across clearly - Hollywood is BAD. So bad that this may be the ultimate anti - Hollywood movie..
|The live action start|
Speaking of which, Folman is infatuated with the medium. Despite his lambasting of mainstream movie culture, he makes frequent reference to films from the past which he loves (with a special amount reserved for Kubrick homages). I own't spoil the extensive list, but pay attention and you will be rewarded.
So, all in all, 'The Congress' is a great movie, it has a powerful first half; a brilliant score; beautiful animation; and a plethora of references. But in the animated quarter, the story really does get a little muddled. Check it out!
|The Congress gets 4 stars!|