Why The Hero Of Antichrist Was Afraid Of His Wife? Antichrist (2009): The Meaning Of The Film By Lars Von Trier, The Plot, The Essence
Country: Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Poland
Genre: horror, thriller, drama
Year of production: 2009
Directed by: Lars von Trier
Actors: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
tagline: “When nature turns evil, true terror awaits”
Awards and nominations: In 2009 the film won the Silver Award (Cannes Film Festival) in the nomination “Best Actress”
Lars von Trier considers Antichrist his best work. This strange, creepy film dedicated to Tarkovsky, in some way reflects his “Mirror”.
The point of the film Antichrist is that man is unknowable. Despite the specificity, the picture makes you think about your own nature, which is always the catalyst for all our actions.
What is the movie about
As is often the case with Lars von Trier, this picture is divided into several chapters and a prologue. Each of these parts carries a special meaning.
A brief description of the content of the painting “Antichrist”. In the center of the plot is a couple who have lost a child. The severity of the tragedy lies in the fact that it occurred at the time the woman was experiencing a powerful orgasm.
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe in the lead roles. Frame from the film.
Both are under extreme stress, and the unfortunate mother falls into unconsciousness, and her husband, a psychotherapist, sends her to the clinic, where she spends a whole month.
Dissatisfied with the way the treatment is going, the man decides to help his wife on his own. To do this, he uses a controversial and rather radical psychological method – he learns about her strongest fear and tries to use it for therapeutic purposes. And his wife is afraid of a country house with a heavenly name “Eden”. It was in this house that a woman, passionate about writing a dissertation, spent time with her son last summer.
Thus begins a dark journey through the depths of the unconscious – a journey very much like Dante’s wandering in Hell. Toward the end of the picture, a man kills his wife and burns her body.
Oddly enough, the ending seems not so much creepy as natural. In the course of the film, it is clear that the main character of the film “Antichrist” constantly performs strange, frightening acts. She not only harms her own child, but does nothing to help him. In this regard, the question arises: is the mother really capable of this? Maybe she’s not human at all?
The meaning of the film
Von Trier, who was once accused of sadism, blasphemy, and sympathy for Nazism, is a trickster director. He loves to deceive and troll the public. In his painting “Antichrist” he deftly replaces the promised “philosophical erotica” with an anatomical theater. This is not a horror movie or a blasphemous gospel. This picture lies beyond the concept of taste and morality. Von Trier’s “Antichrist” has no plot as such. It simply tells the story of a couple who have lost a child.
The mother treats pain and guilt only with sex. This helps her temporarily forget about the tragedy, go into an exciting apotheosis, and temporarily leave the pain. But, on the other hand, she remembers that the child died just at the time of sexual intercourse.
In this mise-en-scene, von Trier consciously created such a contrast that allows him to sort of “ground” his characters, point to their “animal” nature and the absence of another component – the divine. This idea of the master seems to be emphasized by the brilliant music of the great Handel, which is present throughout the whole action.
Terrible hallucinations of the characters symbolize deep mental pain, which in theory leads to repentance… But at the same time, all the details of von Trier’s painting seem to scream about hopelessness and the impossibility of escaping from oneself. The heroes understand that it is impossible to change everything that has already happened – and nothing can be done now either.
The unfortunate woman dreams of non-existence, and at the same time (another ironic contrast) wants to forget herself. For her, this is possible in only one way – through sexual pleasure. However, she remembers her guilt, realizes the cause of the tragedy and pain, and also longs for punishment.
Frame from the film.
In this film, achieving orgasm is opposed to death. Another scene of intercourse, filmed extremely naturalistically, is saturated with symbolism: both heroes are shrouded in darkness, and the sexual act itself, carried out in a smooth minor key, to the sounds of divine music, takes place in a forest, which in all cultures of the world is an image of another world.
Probably, the essence of the film lies in the phrase heard by the hero of the picture: “Chaos rules the world.” At its core, chaos is the absence of order. Given that the entire action of the film takes place in Eden, and the man and woman are not named, it can be assumed that von Trier once again refers to his favorite biblical theme and tries to give his own interpretation of original sin.
The idea of the picture is that men and a woman are Adam and Eve, and the child is the very fruit that caused them to be expelled from paradise (Eden). In the biblical story there is a catalyst for tragic events – a serpent, that is, the devil. Trier gets this role … se * y. The point is that through contact, the heroine is forgotten and mentally returns to the moment when their child was still alive. His fall from the window also symbolizes the fall into sin, that is, “Eve”, being in a deep forest that frightens her, dreams of a lost paradise, although she understands that there will be no turning back.
Somehow the heroine dropped the phrase that nature is the church of Satan. It can be assumed that she had in mind not only nature in general, which here does not enchant, but frightens, but the female nature that caused the tragedy – both at the dawn of the creation of the world, and in the lives of heroes.
“Antichrist” is a complex, multi-part and scary film with a hidden meaning. The ending has several interpretations, but many viewers in their analysis of the picture offer the following explanation for the ending.
Frame from the film.
In their opinion, the meaning of the final scene is that the Antichrist is not a woman (not only this one – any), as one might think.
Antichrist Lars von Trier has no face. This is an ephemeral entity, which in this film, so to speak, took on the image of misunderstanding that reigns between a man and a woman. At first glance, the man was trying to help his wife, although in reality he did not understand her and was afraid. As one popular song goes, “Where there is fear, there is no place for love.”
All sorts of horrors take place around “Eden”, desirable and terrible for the main character. Expelled from paradise, a man and a woman found themselves in hell, which they themselves created. Hell is a place where there is no love (consciously or not, but the theomachist von Trier still leads the viewer to the idea that love is God, who is absent in the picture), and a person who has lost his spiritual component can turn into an animal . Or the Antichrist.
Here are some pictures similar to “Antichrist”:
- “Nymphomaniac: Part 1” (Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, 2013). One cold morning, an elderly bachelor finds a woman on the street. He delivers her to his home and takes care of her. In gratitude, she tells him about her turbulent youth.
- “Possessed” (France, Germany, 1981). The story of one betrayal, filed under the sauce of madness.
- “Pianist” (France, Austria, Germany, 2001). Erika, a professor at the Vienna Conservatory, starts a passionate affair with her young student.