Sundance Film Festival Movie Review: PIERCING

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From director/screenwriter Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother), comes his latest film PIERCING, which I was able to catch at the Sundance Film Festival, and was a very different type of genre piece from his previous film. 

Less horror, more of a Neo-noir styled film, PIERCING is about a man with a family who fantasizes about murdering a prostitute on a business trip out of town. Though not necessarily character driven, this film was more focused on the situation that the characters put themselves in. 

PIERCING was adapted from a Japanese novel, which I'm very interested in reading, by Ryû Murakami, the same writer from the well-known fucked up horror movie, Audition

Adapting a novel into a screenplay is quite the challenge! I would say you have to have an incredibly close relationship with the novelist. You singularly have to be fake married for more than a couple months, as well as be delicate with the execution of the movie. When it comes to a Japanese to American adaptation, it's even more of a challenge. 

If you like character driven pieces, this movie is not for you. If you like situational scene entertainment this movie is for you. I am a fan of development of characters in pieces. To me this movie felt more dialogue heavy, less broken up into scenes, more of a play format - two characters and one room. 

I loved any of the scenes where we could second guess the intentions of the prostitute, the woman that the business/family man is wanting to murder. Stylistically the film was stunning, basically it was as if this thriller had a one night stand with a Wes Anderson film. Really, at the end of the day, this is one of those films that you will love or dislike dependent on your film taste. 

PIERCING felt honest with the main male character, Reed, played by Christopher Abbott. Looking into his family life I was drawn to the aspect of when he imagines his baby seeping the idea of committing a murder into his head. The prostitute, played by Mia Wasikowska, is the strongest and most developed character in the film, with the audience sitting on edge wondering "What the hell is she going to do next?" 

Overall this movie was a fun fucked up little piece that screened like a thriller play which should be shortened into a smooth piece. I would suggest watching it, because I'm curious of everyone's film nerd opinion!  

Mary C. Russell

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