Review: Moebius

In synopsizing this film too many sites, like the IMDb, have versions of the story that are far too reductive. So much so they are dangerously vague and would leave the potential viewer woefully ignorant. I’ve frequently written of the benefit of going in to a film with a clean slate. However, in some cases an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To be almost equally cutesy one could categorize this film as the Bobbit case extrapolated into Greek domestic tragedy, or a vicious cycle of betrayal and attacking manhood, or you could visit Ram Releasing’s site for an even more exact version of the story. With all the severing and revenge going about you do want to be somewhat prepared.

This is another film that could be far more sensationalistic with its squeamish subject matter. As opposed to Cannibal this one does occasionally show rather than imply, however, such a happenstance is rare. Those instances are noteworthy because the balance between the grotesque and comedic aspects of the narrative at play are probably some of the lesser moments of the film. This is in terms of tonal equilibrium which is a far less subjective criteria than the nearly irrevocably prudish “good taste.” For once you make the commitment to take the journey of this story you have to realize that it’s not a rabbit hole you’re going down, but rather a Möbius strip, so if you are perturbed by a beat or revelation once, odds are some refraction of that very same narrative iteration will recur.

Another consideration about this film is that is one where there is almost no dialogue. Specifically, I don’t recall there being any after the opening sequence in the film. To it’s credit it doesn’t need any dialogue over 90% of the time. A few of those situations where it is needed are just those where it’s hard to believe nothing would be said by any party involved. Even more rare is the scene that would’ve been illuminated by some piece of dialogue.

As such it is a film that relies and tells its story visually. The images do communicate are perfectly composed and artfully lit. Yet it also stays true to environment and the story, only toward the end in a dream sequence, and the climactic one, are there any affectations that are not entirely diegetic.

Sometimes a story can be twisted, can shock and place its characters through the wringer, not have them be particularly likeable and it all works, even when ostensibly the play’s the thing and it’s not seeking to expound upon some deeper meaning. In Moebius’ case it almost begs for more. Perhaps that is something that will come with further reflection and reviewing. It being a film lacking in dialogue it allows the audience to plumb its depths (which are pretty deep considering where we begin) for some other meaning if we want. One can easily infer commentary, but it’s almost too superficially preoccupied too much of the time such that deeper psychological portraiture of these people is forfeited to an extent.

However, any film is unique in the way it plays to the individual audience member, and Moebius will be no exception. It will garner a wide range of reactions and perhaps reads. It may repel or fascinate, engage or bore, but it refuses to be ignored and for that any film enthusiast must be thankful. For in an age where far too many films are safe here is one that doesn’t dare to be divisive it insists on it.

7/10

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