There's no mistaking the power of this little psych-pot-boiler as Rolf De Heer heads us straight down that long hard road called revenge. Your verdict on Alexandra's Project will almost solely ride on whether you think Gary Sweet's character deserves his fate. He's Whole Asshole for sure, but really, does he deserves everything that he gets?Sweet plays the not-so-sweet Steve married to Alexandra (Buday) with two kids. His wife doesn't seem to be quite all there.
She's tired - Real tired.
Sweet's character goes through the motions of worrying about promotion or redundancy while at work. On the whole though, things seem relatively OK. He heads home and finds a little surprise in the form of a videotape.
Then Steve's life turns completely on it's head.
We've recently had haunting by videotape in The Ring, now in Alexandra's Project we have revenge by videotape. In this taunt, exhausting essay into vengeance, the viewer is tested to the limit. The whole point of it seems to be to take the viewer to the edge of their beliefs and morals, and then push them a little further.
At times unbearably intense Alexandra takes us though her pain of the last 15 years or so that have been her marriage. As we learn more we are at times shocked, amused, disgusted and alarmed. It really is peeking though you fingers stuff.
So you'll eventually bring yourself to question the main character.
Is one the innocent and one the victim? Or are they just as bad as each other? Who do you end up sympathising with I guess will depend on the redeemability of Sweet's character. If you start to empathise with him then you'll head to his corner.
With most of the action occurring in just one room, (this film would work well on the stage) de Heer has worked on a micro budget yet still manages some visual flair. There are certainly some memorable images in the film. The two leads give impassioned performances as you slowly see them transform.While this film can't be described as enjoyable by any stretch of the magination, the film is wholly impressive. It's great, torturous stuff.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.