Monday, October 4, 2010

John Malkovich in "Disgrace"

"Disgrace" is a hard movie to watch but at the same time, it is criminal not to. Based on Nobel Prize-winning South African author J.M. Coetzee's novel of the same title, "Disgrace" shines the spotlight on the new South Africa, post-Apartheid. Here're several excerpts from my review of the DVD:

"Stories from Apartheid-era South Africa are almost always ugly, seldom hopeful and most likely violent in a sometimes inhumane way. But what happens to the country when the white minority rule is finally over? In Coetzee's “Disgrace,” set in post-Apartheid South Africa, the situation is really not that much different, only this time, the tables are turned."

"In one revealing conversation between David and Lucy, they recalled how a neighbor used to beat his dog for getting excited at the smell of a bitch. Just as Pavlov predicted, the dog stopped getting excited after a while. Lucy then poses this question, “Is it moral for males to be allowed to follow their instincts unchecked?” To which David replies, “No, that is not moral. What was ignoble about the spectacle was that the poor dog had begun to hate its own nature. It no longer needed to be beaten. At that point, it would have been better to just shoot it.” That conversation alone could have meant so many different things in this uncompromising movie and it just reminds you of how fragile their lives are."

And the conclusion:
"The parallel between David's own actions and what happens to his daughter is a stark reminder of the saying, what goes around, comes around. But “Disgrace” is more than just a story about karma. It is also an essential and forthcoming snapshot of the new South Africa. Your surroundings will never stay stagnant and those who remain behind must pay the consequences. David's eventual fall from grace is not only humbling to watch but therapeutic as well. “Disgrace” is a hard movie to watch but to not do so would be criminal."

To read the full review: link here.

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