Burning ★★★★½

This is gonna sound like a mixed/negative review for one of the better films I’ve seen this year but:

I really loved the first movie of this double feature, not so much the second movie. I suppose if I knew that it would turn out to be one of those stories, I would’ve adjusted my expectations. I dunno, I just admired what they were doing with the first half so much, I couldn’t help but be disappointed with where it went. 

Don’t read below if you don’t want to see a spoiler.

I guess I just felt inspired by how compelling they managed to make every scene w/out any murder bullshit, and then they did a heel turn and said okay here’s some murder bullshit for ya. I just really feel like I don’t need to see another movie about murder. I’ve seen every possible exploration of the subject and I just don’t fucking care anymore. 

I understand why it is the way that is, I’m sure where it went was exciting for many, but that’s just how it felt to me. I really felt like I was getting to know these characters as human beings, and it all felt spoiled by a bunch of murder bullshit. As tastefully as it was all executed, it didn’t feel like any of it was really brought home as much as side stepped for the sake of dramatic action and suspense. 

I guess maybe if I knew what it was about from the beginning, I probably would have liked it more for taking the time to really humanize the characters along the way, but it felt like a good character movie cut short.

Nathan Fielder sat behind us though, I liked that.

EDIT March 24th 2019:

I read a take on the second half of the film that I like. That it’s more or less a manifestation of the protagonist’s psyche as a literary/dramatic fantasy coping mechanism for his own insecurities of losing his infatuation to a more ideal suitor. A mark of immaturity and denial. Typically I’m not really into unreliable narrator subtext readings like this, but I don’t know, it feels right given the characters, the stark departure in tone, and the level of elaborate absurdity. Even if it wasn’t intended, I appreciate the film more for it. Good movie.

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