17 July 2013

Possession Blu-Ray Review

Rating: 18
BD Release Date:
29th July 2013 (UK)
Andrzej Zulawski
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
Buy: [Blu-ray]

Possession is a film directed by noted Polish director Andrzej Żuławski. He worked as a assistant to Andrzej Wajda before he started directing his own film in the early 70s. He eventually moved to France after his 2nd film The Devil was banned in his native Poland. Possession came at the start of the 80s when Foreign films were finding an audience in the UK and US but was shot in English.

Possession is very possibly the oddest film I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. The film recently has been compared to Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist by some critics most notably Mark Kermode. Both films deal with a total disintergation of a marriage and in both films take a suddenly surreal turn but even more so in Possession.

Mark (Sam Neill) is a spy and returns from a mission and his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) demands a divorce. She insists it is not because she is cheating on him but won’t explain her reasons to her huspand. Mark rather stay but agrees to turn the apartment and custody of kid over. He starts going mad in the process. He comes and visits the apartment and discovers she is neglecting the care of their son Bob. He decides to stay and care for the son.

He finds out she has a lover called Heinrich. He soons meets his son’s teacher who looks exactly like his wife (also played by Adjani) and is a nice and calm unlike his crazy wife. She eventually disappears off his radar so he wants to find her wherabouts and hires a PI. The film from this point takes a even more bizarre turn involving tentacled sex, gay lovers, milk bottles, body parts, murder and finally a possible apocalypse.

The performances from the 2 leads are extremely raw and times insanely over the top (Sam Neill especially). Isabelle Adjani won best actress for her role in the film (along with her role in Quartet) and she gives the kind of performance Shelley Duvall should have given in The Shining. The film boosts the most bizarre sex scene in the history of cinema involving Isabelle and a tentacled humanoid, that really needs to be see to be believed. The film has this truly unrelenting feel of disintergating, madness and fear that is very full on.

It’s a truly unique work that I will not forget anytime soon. I’m not sure it’s something I’m gonna pull out anytime but I’m happy I’ve experienced it. It’s being re-released on blu-ray by Second Sight (it was previously out on dvd). It also funnily it comes out right after their release of The Brood which also deals with divorce in a “horror setting” but not remotely as successful. It also includes as usual with Second Sight numerous special features such as an hour documentary on the making of, interviews, comparision of the UK and US reception, commentaries etc.


Ian Schultz

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