May 29, 2014

Miss Violence (2013)

Miss Violence (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Alexandros Avranas
Country: Greece

Movie Review: Giorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”, “Alps”) has another disciple in Alexander Avranas whose filmmaking style evinces the same heavy atmosphere, underdeveloped blunt dialogue and absence of surrounding music. “Miss Violence”, his sophomore feature film, opens with a birthday party in which the birthday girl, Angeliki, commits suicide by jumping out of the balcony. Welfare department starts an investigation, since there were no apparent reasons for the succeeded. Angeliki was living with Eleni, her disturbed single mother, two minor siblings, a suicidal teenage aunt, and her grandparents. Pain seemed inexistent among the family members who demonstrate to be unaffected with the death, but soon we realize they share terrible secrets. Eleni is pregnant and we never see any other men around, fact that made me instantly think of incest, while her father, a slacker who doesn’t want to work, lives exclusively to control and exploit his family. This psychologically aggressive tale about a dysfunctional family and domestic abuse can be very disturbing, but can’t compete with masterpieces such as “Dogtooth” or “Happiness”. Despite one or other new nuances in the plot, I had the impression that I had seen this before, pretty much with the same elements and mood, but much more intriguing and better told. Notwithstanding, Avranas did an appreciable job on direction (‘Silver Lion’ at Venice), while Themis Panou and Eleni Roussinou were absolutely terrific and convincing as father and daughter.

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