I couldn't breathe during the movie's climactic scenes. I also had to look away because of some gruesome images. I don't usually react this way, however violent the movie.
But what did I expect from a Lars von Trier film, anyway?
And judging from reviews, quite a number share my experience. So where do I side with the movie's polarized audience? Do I agree with the director's fans who praise von Trier for challenging what is cinematically acceptable? Or do I throw in my hat among those who proclaim that von Trier has gone mad?
All I can say is that this movie's scenes are forever seared in my brain. It's not farfetched to speculate that my unconscious has gained a new vocabulary for my nightmares. And if that is what von Trier intended, to provoke our deepest thoughts about our faith and our existence, then this movie has successfully provoked that in me. A day after watching it, I still can't get it out of my mind.
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