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Hole in My Heart, A
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by Jason Whyte

"A major step down for the otherwise-awesome Lukas Moodysoon."
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2004 VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. I am certainly a fan of the works of director Lukas Moodysson. His first film, "Fucking Amal" (which, naturally, was subtitled in America as "Show Me Love" because of the title song by Robyn playing over the end credits) was a deeply realistic story about teenage agression and love that was set in a small town in Sweden. His last film, "Lilya 4-Ever", was a deeply affecting story about a young teenager who was abandoned by her mother and left to fend for herself. In both of these films, there were characters in the film that looked like the director had auditioned from off the street. It comes as a bit of a shock to report that his latest film, "A Hole in My Heart", has an interesting idea but has none of the wit or charm of his earlier work. That, and it's also an incredibly sadistic motion picture.

The shooting of this low-budget digitally-shot film was kept under wraps so that Moodysson could surprise and shock the viewer, but as the film opens, we are treated to a blaring loud agression of clips as we meet the main characters, who are all sitting in a chair completely nude as it cuts back and forth with noise and blips of what appear to be forthcoming images. It gets worse.

To describe what this film is about is a bit difficult, since nearly all of the action takes place in a dingy, cheap apartment in Stockholm (I think). The people within these walls are filthy, unkept and are in dire need of money, so they make porno films. But these are not your typical love-making pictures, rather they are the kind of no-holds barred filth that tends to be categorized as "fetish". The characters involve a young porno starlet, her co-star, an amateur photographer and his son who rarely leaves the apartment, listening to grungy industrial music while all of this filth goes on in the next room. And as we follow their "work", we get flashbacks and narration to each of their pasts and how they were led here.

What is Moodysson going for here? What is his point? I don't doubt that we all know of the things that go on behind closed doors but sometimes, we just don't need to see them. Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem For A Dream" threw us into a sex party involving Jennifer Connelly that no doubt happens in real life, but that film was intentionally brutal as to her downward spiral. And in Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible", the true horrors of the rape and violence in the film are in full force, but are done with strong artistry.

This film made me physically ill nearly 20 minutes in, but none of the film resonated for me in a positive light. Some of the actors in this film look and act absolutely real like in all of Moodysson's work, and you have to wonder how he persuaded them to do ANY of the activity in this film (not only is there a ton of disgusting sexual content that is played for real, there's also a sequence where food is used in a way that you would never think of). Maybe if this film was rather about these people who are looking for something better in their existence, rather than an endless barage of sickness, we could have had something here.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10456&reviewer=350
originally posted: 09/26/04 13:17:13
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2005 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/05/05 Nest If you're able to watch it to the end, you'll understand what Moodysson is trying to say!! 4 stars
6/08/05 Kari Haug What on earth was the point of this movie? 2 stars
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Directed by
  Lukas Moodysson

Written by
  Lukas Moodysson

  Bjorn Almroth
  Sanna Brading
  Thorsten Flinck
  Goran Marjanovic

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