Nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
Y tu mama Damien
Surrely the most divisive element to the filmmaking would be the voice over by the unnamed narrator. On one level, I like it as an almost Bela Tarr like fatalistic voice from beyond commenting on those we cross along the way, informing us of their struggles in life. That includes the pigs. On another level, it is rather unrelenting and distracting in how it is just casting its net so wide. It just felt very inconsistent for such an important narrative device. It also is worth mentioning the way it cuts in just feels cheap. Maybe that was intentional though as I havent really seen that done in that way before.
I think another obvious place this film could be critiqued is the whole thing of the boys being so young. I think its handled in a way that isn't too icky. That being said the sex in this movie definitely sits for a while and a lot of it is really cringe inducing. Far from inauthentic, I simply question the importance of some of the scenes in revealing something about the situation and characters that cpuld have been conveyed in a less confrontational style. Damn I sound like a prude. It just felt off at points to me personally I think. It is very odd as I have no issue with presentation of far more confrontation sexual imagery in say Salo. Maybe it is just because this did feel so authentic honestly. And I personally just had trouble with it.
All of that said, this is an incredible film. The performances, the tone, the pace, and the texture of the film are something so experientially linked creating a beautifully rendered experience. Its interesting seeing Lunezki's earlier work where its much less about the movement of the camera and more about the light and feel of the image. Umtinately though, I didn't get a lot out of the experience. In that way it feels slightly pretentious since there's this implication that a lot is learned. I don't know, just seemed a little hollow.