THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN | THE REVIEW

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN has been one of the best independent movies of 2014. Everyone I have spoken to has loved this movie, more notably Kernel Nick Stanbrook. His review from May is below for you to have a read. We are revisiting the review as our lovely friends at eOneANZ have given us three copies to giveaway. One of them may or may not have been opened so a certain me could view it 🙂 Find out how to win below Nick’s review……..all the best………JK

REVIEW FROM MAY 2014

Kernel Nick hit up THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN the other night and I am very jealous, a good friend of mine works for eOne and she Facebooked me saying I had to see this as it was possibly the best release eOne has had. It is on my list, more so since Nick’s review. THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN has already won a few awards with winning the Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival and being the Academy Award entrant for best foreign film for the 2013 Oscars being the most notable :). It is out tomorrow, Thursday 15th May 2014 in Australia at all decent art house cinemas, it runs for 112mins and is rated MA15+. All the best………….JK.

 

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN THE MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW |THE MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY NICK STANBROOK

Emotional. The first thing I need to say is that this film is all about emotion. It is a non-linear story, about a Belgian couple, both bluegrass musicians, struggling with morality and the afterlife. I know, I know, it sounds like it could be a pile of artistic wank. Luckily for us it is not. THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN, focuses on Elise (Veerle Baetens) and Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) the two central characters grow together and they grow apart.

Both Heldenbergh and Baetens are outstanding. They are so convincing, they truly take on the lives of the characters.  It makes it feel like they have really lived as these people and that we are just catching glimpses of different parts of a bigger whole. Heldenbergh’s amazing performance could possibly be attributed to the fact that he wrote the play from which this film is adapted. (Interesting fact for today)

 

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN BAND IMAGE
THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE BAND PERFORMING IN WHITE

 

The non-linear nature of the film is done in such a brilliant way. The problem with breaking up a story and mixing it together is that you can lose a lot of its coherence or over all plot direction. It can turn into a nonsensical mess.  THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN manages to balance the story elements enough that as viewers we can follow the character arcs, each flash back or flash forward is to the right moment, exactly what we need to experience at that point in the film.  Without getting lost or losing sense of reality we jump quite a lot, at a few points I was unsure as to when in the story we were, yet It didn’t bother me, because I was so interested in what was going to happen and how the reactions to the events occurring would carry into the other moments of the film.

If you like Bluegrass, you will love this soundtrack. If you don’t you will soon! Having the band perform the songs in the film, allows the songs to become more then just the soundtrack but they become moments in the film, the songs are soulful and tell beautiful stories that can be paralleled to the main story. Since watching the film I have purchased the soundtrack and listened to it nearly everyday since. It is an amazing bunch of songs by itself, but it mixes brilliantly into the story. With each performance we get to see the state of Elise and Didier’s relationship, as well as being made to think about the story within the song and how that relates to the main story. It’s nearly as if the characters in the film are also reflecting on the events that have just transpired.

 

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN IMAGE
THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | Johan Heldenbergh (Didier Bontinck / Monroe) & Veerle Baetens (Elise Vandevelde / Alabama)

 

The music manages to pull on the heartstrings, but also add to the story, a beautiful blending of emotion and information. This ties in really well to the overall emotional feelings of the film. One tip for viewing this film. Bring some tissues. It’s a tearjerker. However it’s not sappy and over the top. The non-linear story means that the focus isn’t necessarily the plot. Instead of following the story from start to finish we jump from moment to moment and we get to see not only what was happening at that point in time, but also what was being felt, and that is really what sticks with the audience, we carry each emotion from scene to scene. This allows the intensely sad moments, to be spread out. Light-hearted moments of relief appear at the right time. As well as giving the audience a break, jumping between moments and spreading out the intensely sad ones, stops the film from seeming over the top.

The story feels so real and lived. It’s as if we are merely observing a story. It doesn’t feel constructed or actors acting as characters, it feels genuine and real, as we pop into certain moments in Elise and Didier’s lives.

 

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN THE MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW |THE MOVIE POSTER

 

My one qualm is that the film loses its graceful subtlety towards the end, the ending is somewhat heavy handed. Not a major downfall as by then you are so emotionally invested that it would take a lot more to pull you out of that moment. The breakdown of the relationship and of Didier himself could have done with some more subtlety, and less shouting out the main conflict. However as I said before, this is not a major problem as we are already so involved in the film that it is easily overlooked.

I had no idea what this film was about when I went to see it, and in all honesty I was not ready for what I saw. It was so emotional, thought provoking and just memorable. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I have seen it. A very good example of how emotion is not merely used to help the story, but sometimes emotion is the focus and story needs to take a back seat. Not a perfect film, but one I will be talking about for many months to come.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to eOneANZ to win one of the 3x DVDs of BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to answer the following question. 

Firstly, just an FYI on how to increase chances of winning a salty comp; commenting on the review generally holds you in better stead of winning as opposed to just comp sexing :)

WHAT IS THE BEST MUSIC MOVIE OF ALL TIME AND WHY? For me – probably THE DOORS but I also loved ALMOST FAMOUS

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter the comp on the website).

Prizes will be awarded based on skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels, more likely ME.

The prizes will not be sent until after the 15th November – postage has destroyed me this month :). Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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