August 30, 2009


Recently I saw two films: Man bites dog (Dir: Remy Belvaux) and All about my Mother (Dir: Pedro Almodovar). Since the first one is less well-known than Almodovar's creation, and because it's one of the most weirdest, but most unconventional films I've come across so far, I take the discretion of writing on Man Bites Dog.

Man Bites Dog
is a crazy, whacked-out, unusual Belgium film, (or rather a documentary), made on a serial-murderer (Benoit Poelvoorde's ) who agrees to take an almost amateur film crew (a small group of 4) along with him, every time he decides to inhumanly kill someone. His favourite victims are the mailmen, but also enjoys killing old people, as well as other age-groups every now and then. His ruthless acts are brilliantly intermingled with classical instrumental music and visuals of old architecture which lend a jarring tone to the entire film. The film works on the lines of a dark comedy.
Initially, I was pathetically lost within the first few minutes of the film, trying to untie all the strands of the film from the start. First thought that entered my mind was that it's a grossly sick (!) film. However, once you figure out the actual rhythm of the movie and swallow the idea that there will be gross murders in front of your eyes--you begin to enjoy the film--particularly for it's originality, I suppose (as well as for Benoit Poelvoorde's contribution to the film). Belvaux's team initially stands outside the diameters of Poelvoorde's job (I call it 'job' because this is Poelvoorde's way of earning his livelihood--he murders people and then takes their moolah). Anyway, soon a friendly (and ironically 'human') relationship begins to build between the team and the murderer, so much so that the team actually begins to "help" Poelvoorde with his "accomplishments". One of the interesting scenes in the film is on Poelvoorde's birthday, which is held at his best friend, Valerie's house. Belvaux's team, Valerie, her boyfriend (who apparently treats her badly) and a few others attend the small get together. Belvaux gifts him a gun pouch. Poelvoorde's is extremely thrilled, and he puts his gun in the pouch, hangs it on his shoulder, and tries to see how he'll look while taking the gun out. The mood at the party is jovial, and the camera locks on to Poelvoorde as he practices taking the gun out. Soon we hear a gun shot and we know Poelvoorde has just shot his next victim. The camera pans only to discover that it is Valerie's boyfriend who has been shot right in the head. Valerie sits still, aghast, looking at her supposed best friend, with her boyfriend's blood all over her face and body. It's a crazy moment in the film, trust me!--and you'll come across more of such once you're into the film.

You need a strong stomach to watch the film, of course, but if you like to experiment a bit with your taste, you must watch it! It gives you a different perspective towards many things, as well as almost an insider-look in what goes on in the mind of a psychotic serial-killer.