FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Colonia,” which stars Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Daniel Bruhl (Captain America: Civil War, Inglorious Basterds), Michael Nyqvist (John Wick, Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol), Richenda Carey (Separate Lies, Criminal Justice [TV series]), Vicky Krieps (Hannah, A Most Wanted Man), and Jeanne Werner (Before the Winter Chill, Tied). It is directed by Florian Gallenberger (City of War: The Story of John Rabe, Shadows of Time), who also wrote it with Torsten Wenzel. Based on a true story, this follows a young woman named Lena (Watson) who inducts herself into Colonia Dignidad, a cult which poses itself as charitable mission run, in order to save her boyfriend from captivity.
I’ve never been keen on watching films focused on torture and turmoil; not because it is hard to watch (which it is sometimes), but because filmmakers usually find trouble adding substance to the matter. Typically, from most of what I have seen, the infliction of pain in movies is only there to increase the gore factor or make the viewer queasy. But, with “Colonia,” this is a different case. I’m not saying that this release is all about torture. Heck, it barely shows it, but what makes this movie so gripping is how it plays with your mind into piecing an awful scene. Going into this feature, I didn’t know what to expect. The synopsis didn’t tell me much, and besides Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl, there wasn’t a lot to draw me into seeing it. However, with some encouragement from a friend, I sat down to see it, and it was surprisingly thrilling. Like I stated above, this plot messes with your head. It strips you bare of what is good and jabs at you with jarring, horrible acts. This focuses on a cult of very nasty people who do harm when they think they are doing good. Those around them who see things differently are treated harshly, and it is terrifying to see unfold at times. I wasn’t necessarily cowering in fear, but I was immensely captivated. While the character development isn’t as gripping as it should be, the mere situation our figures are placed in is enough to keep you hooked. The performances that go along with these characters are astounding, with everyone doing a terrific job. Watson and Brühl shined, while others I’ve never seen before blew me away. The cinematography, although depicting a harsh subject, was at times gorgeous. The landscapes, pastures, and trends from the time they are portraying in this were great. I loved seeing this movie from a visual standpoint, and the fact that most of it is in a small location makes it all the better. Watching this film made me feel like I was seeing something I shouldn’t see. This is based on a true story, and because of how horrible the acts carried out in this are, it was like I was seeing some leaked files. Terrible things happen, many of which get worse and worse as time progresses. The feeling of this filth and how chilling it was is what made it so good. It’s story, while not having too much weight, spoke to me in big ways, even though it’s purpose was to show an event rather than give a lesson. If there was anything that I found wrong with it, the top would be character development, as I mentioned earlier. Sure, I saw that these characters were in danger and the conflict was rough, but I didn’t really get on a level with them as much as I wanted to. Another con would be how quick it is. They have a lot to cover in a story spanning months, and even though they had cool transitions, everything seems to be sped up and only scratching the surface of something monstrous once Emma Watson arrives to the cult. I’m not asking for a humdrum, long experience, but if they worked in some character development and made me understand why this cult was acting the way it was (besides the fact that they are loony), I would’ve taken more out of the journey. Finally, it did take a while for this plot to leap off the page. The first fifteen minutes or so were filled with scenes that I didn’t care so much for, including generic character details and playful humor that only our figures would laugh at. It’s not the worst thing in the world, nor a big issue, but I should mention it since it was left in my head. Overall, if you are looking for a haunting, captivating film that deals with turmoil, than watch this. I was intrigued in watching this release, and am glad I got a chance to. FINAL SCORE: 89%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: