Saturday, January 24, 2015

WETLANDS (2014)




Directed By: David Wnendt 
Written By: Claus Faulkenberg & David Wnendt, Sabine Pochhammer 
 Based on the Book By: Charlotte Roche 
Cinematography By: Jakub Bejnarowicz 
Editor: Andreas Wodraschke 


Cast: Carla Juni, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker, Axel Milberg, Peri Baumeister


The eccentric 18 year-old Helen narrates the story of her life, including stories about her preferred sexual practices that involve vegetables, her attitude towards hygiene, drugs, her best friend Corinna and her challenging childhood. The frame story takes place in a hospital where she is treated because of an anal fissure. During her stay she plans to reunite her divorced parents and falls in love with the male nurse Robin.

Let me start this review off by saying. I read the book this movie is based on years ago and while I can't remember it word for word. I remember it being just as disgusting, disturbing yet funny as the film is. Though I felt more prepared for what the film had to offer then someone going into the film blind.

Trust me if you don't have a strong stomach this isn't the film for you, as the grossness isn't necessarily gore or violence but the graphic nature and bodily fluids that our bodies can produce. Imagine the toilet scene from TRAINSPOTTING only spread throughout a movie and trying to outdo itself constantly and you get a partial idea of the graphic nature of the film.

The film sets the bar early with how far and where it will go. If you can make it from there you can make it through. What it also does is makes us in the audience hyper aware of the surroundings of the film admit allows our imagination to get the better of us and also examine anything the character comes across as a possible gross out.

Essentially The film is a coming of age film that includes things most films of it’s type usually avoid. This one seems preoccupied if not obsessed on hygiene. It plays like a cynical dark comedy most of the times

So as we watch sometimes with dread and animosity we also get pulled in as this awareness also makes us pay more attention as we are never truly comfortable as the film is constantly surprising. Going places you think it won't and sometimes doesn't and then at turns does.

Though it presents this unhygienic world view to us. At first that is the films main focus but as the film goes on in pulls back more and more layers to reveal it's heart and main story. That is heartbreaking and revelatory. Sure it is raw but for the first time the film isn't trying to provoke or shock us. It is finally being honest. So that you realize what came before it was a rebellious act more with attitude as it used it to distract from us seeing it's vulnerable side.

While not the best made film it is colorful and moves at a quick pace. Holding your attention throughout. Showcasing a truly brave and fearless lead performance by Carla Juni and direction by David Wnendt

When I read the book I thought it was un-filmable so much credit goes to this film for not only being made but giving it more depth than thought originally. While also managing to not make it exploitive as it could have ended up being.

Though shocking that seems to be part of the gimmick to get you to see it before laying down it's true colors.

Amongst the shocks here is some really hilarious scenes in the film. That includes quite an erotic scene that doesn't really involve too Much Sex and also a kind of love story to a degree.

While I can guarantee the film isn't for everyone it is definitely a film that by the end you can say you have never seen anything like it.


Grade: B

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