This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Adam’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“did you wash your hands?”
art is not as free as one may expect. strict boundaries are still planted in the ground, and as simple as it can be sometimes, painting a picture of a single pebble you found on the street isn’t art. art may be one of humanity’s most creative forms of expressions, it challenges us and our mental state. how do we see the canvas? is it a vivid mosaic of tangerine-like shades? is it a sorrowful blue night? or in jeanne dielman’s (dir. chantal akerman) case, is it a portrait of defying expectations and isolation?
jeanne dielman is basically a HUGE middle finger to traditional movie audiences, and for great measures. it’s a beast entirely of its own with little dialogue, no soundtrack, and a run time of nearly 3 1/2 hours. its the type of film you can easily troll moviegoers with: convince them it’s just a regular film, and eventually they’ll catch on to just how long and dragged on this film is. i mean over 200 minutes?!?!? that’s literally the same runtime as lotr: return of the king... like holy shit.
but enough of me rambling on about how dangerously unique jeanne dielman is, let’s get down to business. like i previously said, it’s not for traditional audiences, but offers a hidden perspective into the life of a widowed housewife and her mundane routines she commits to everyday. heavy themes present include: prostitution, a tad bit of grief, defying gender roles, and much more. it’s a somber tale of what it’s like to be cooped up in a brussels apartment for most of your day... how women sell their bodies just to put dinner on their table. it’s pretty clear to say that jeanne is imprisoned... imprisoned with taking care of the apartment, conforming to society’s expectations, and serving men. the climax of the film depicts jeanne stab one of the men with a pair of scissors... freeing her from the ugly grasps of control over a woman’s life as she chooses to live freely. the last shot is haunting. jeanne seems the most calm she has the whole movie, but why? is it the sweet free air or just insanity over what has just happened?
jeanne dielman is a very advanced film to watch, and definitely wouldn’t recommend so soon unless you can handle boredom and a slow 3 hour then be my guest. but it definitely takes time. i’ll admit that i thought a film based on daily chores was gonna end up being straight doo doo, but instead i was left with great interest! sure i began watching at 11 PM, as well as facing fatigue and a plethora of yawning, i managed to sit through the whole damn thing, and MY GOD does it feel good to finish it! jeanne dielman is certainly not a film for everyone, but it’s undoubtedly a masterpiece in my heart...
i don’t think i can really complain abt how a film may drag on for too long after watching this one.
oh, and fuck u if u think I’m tryna b smart cuz i gave it 5 bc IT FUCKING DESERVES IT. PERIOD.