Victoria

Victoria ★★★★★

Some film's success rides solely on the heels of a gimmick. Birdman did this, Russian Ark did it even better, and now, to the most full and un-doctored extent possible, we have Victoria. (I could use Andy Warhol's Empire as another example, but I mean, c'mon...) It's easy to get turned away by what has now become such a popular, yet for obvious reasons, seldom attempted technique in modern cinema. The single take film is something so difficult in theory to produce, let alone actually executing, that you can't simply shrug it off as a cute experiment. Personally, I did quite the opposite. I ate it up. I ate it all up.

Victoria takes place in once night, over the course of 2 1/2 hours. It's really late, or really early in the morning depending on your preference of time. A young girl meets some fun loving people in a night club, she decides to hang with them, growing attached to one in particular. Soon, the night unfolds from dance party to an intense series of crime drama influenced fiascos. The best part about this is that we're right there with her/them the whole time. Since it's all in real time, we don't skip a beat. The main thing that makes that so impressive is that the actual script we follow never grows dull. I was constantly enamored with what was happening on screen, even when it was nothing more than simple dialogue between buddies without any conflict dragging them in a specific direction.

It's crazy how natural and intriguing they were able to keep everything the entire trip through. The pretty cinematography plays a decent role in that. Not every shot is a painting, but when considering how much they'd need to sacrifice in order to get finish the film at all, the shots we got were more than enough to please and stimulate the eyes of any regular audience member. One thing this film get criticized endlessly for was the performances. Many aren't thrilled with how subpar certain actors or scenes in general played out due to them, but I suppose it's mainly due to them not being as engrossed as I. I never once was pulled out of the film because an actor seemed like they were acting. Everything on camera seemed incredibly natural whether they expressed joy, fear or pain, and considering the actors needed to be in character for almost 3 hours straight to accomplish the task at hand... This was damn near perfect in that regard alone.

The atmosphere, subject matter and visual technique was all to my own personal liking. Sometimes it's easy to rate a movie quite highly due to how quickly a runtime of this length trickles down to nothing without you realizing it. Thus, I shall be doing that. But even with all that said, there are still many people I would never recommend this film to, simply on the fact that this is destined for strong cult status at best. Not many people will be able to hang with this and for obvious reason. It's tough on some people to stay engaged when even one of the primary aspects of this don't sit well right from the start. I'm just one of the lucky one's that happened to not have a major problem with anything. Nothing more.

Oh and, Laia Costa has my vote for most adorable performance of 2015.

- The Spork Guy

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