This afternoon I went to see “The Book Of Revelation”, the new film by Ana Kokkinos who also made “Head On”. Unlike “Head On”, which has many moments of great humour, this film is gut-wrenching. And although there are some moments of intended humour, I felt so uncomfortable with everything else about the film, I couldn’t even offer a wry grin.
The basic plotline concerns the intentional (non-opportunistic) abduction and rape of a man, a ballet dancer played by Tom Long, over a twelve day period by three women, and how he deals (and doesn’t deal) with it.
I thought the film was quite good, though flawed in a couple of areas. The first flaw, I thought, was there was too much Melbourne landscape. I thought somewhat gratuitous shots of the Yarra, trams, the port, the Melbourne laneways etc distracted my attention from essence of the dancer’s own psychological drama. I kept thinking to myself, “this couldn’t happen in Melbourne”. Adelaide maybe, but not Melbourne. I feel that it would have been a much better film if more of it had been shot indoors.
I also thought at times the characters over-acted. In particular, there were occasions when I found Tom Long’s character unconvincing, as his facial expressions failed to convey to me the internal trauma he must have been experiencing, bordering on caricature. I feel there were a couple of scenes where he was walking along with a “menacing” look on his face which could have been cut to make it a more convincing film.
Nonetheless, and I don’t mean to contradict myself, but I found the film absolutely gut-wrenching. There were only three of us in the cinema, and we all left at the same time with disturbed looks on our faces. And the uncomfortable feelings I had in my stomach continued after the film as I walked towards home. Even a beer in a pub on the way home didn’t take away the feeling.
So it’s a good film, that could have been better. Memorable, nonetheless.
PS… The abduction and the rape is pretty full on.