Tag Archives: Fabrice du Welz

Vinyan * Fabrice du Welz (2008)

Last week I reviewed Du Welz’ previous film, the very nice and weird “Calvaire”. “Vinyan” is more of a Hollywood production, a lot less interesting, quite disappointing even actually. After long opening titles comes an impressive dark scene which I think represents the tsunami that is the starter of the story. After this the real film begins and we follow Paul and Jeanne Bellmer whose son was swallowed by the tsunami. Especially Jeanne cannot accept the death of her son (whose body was never found), so they remain in Thailand to look for him. When Jeanne thinks she sees her son on film footage, Paul and Jeanne take an illegal route to Birma. Of course the local population takes advantage of the couple and slowly the two become crazy.
It seems as if Welz tried to do the same as he did with “Calvaire”, a film that begins ‘normal’ and becomes dark and weird. The problem is that even with Rufus Sewell and Emmanuelle Béart (both very experience actors) the acting remains unconvincing taking the whole film down. The not too interesting story and quite silly ‘scary part’ towards the end do not help. The few dark experiments are nice, but I think Welz aimed for a larger audience with “Vinyan” making it an unrecommended film for the lovers of strange films. I do not know what the Hollywood thriller audience would think of this film.

Calvaire * Fabrice Du Welz (2004)

“Calvaire” (or “the Ordeal” as the international title goes) starts as a ‘normal’ film in which an artist gets stuck somewhere in the Ardennen (the Belgian mountainous area). His path leads to a remote inn where Marc is taken in friendly by Bartel, the owner. It is a strange character (Boris) who leads him there, but Marc does not think much of that yet. Bartel gives Marc shelter, breakfast and offers to fix his truck. Meanwhile Marc takes a walk, stumbles upon a near village where he witnesses a strange excess of the local population. Returning to the inn, not only Bartel, but also the film gets stranger and stranger. “Calvaire” brilliantly derails with incomprehensible characters, violence and nightmarish scenes. Nothing much can be made of the characters after a while and the film suddenly ends. Indeed, this film is pretty disturbing and pretty good. “Calvaire” reminds me a bit of “Mørke“, but where “Mørke” remains a drama, “Calvaire” is closer to horror. For the lovers of the weird stuff.