‘Infinity Pool’ review: An amazing sight

What I did on my summer vacation (watched myself executed).
Photo: Courtesy of NEON and Topic

infinity pool It takes place in the artificial country of Li Tolqa, a poor, religiously conservative country and home to a chain of luxury resorts, neither of which their patrons own. Played on screen by parts of Croatia and Hungary, Li Tolqa is immersed in a mysterious otherworldly stand in places all over the world where tourists exist in a different reality with different rules than those of the residents. At Pa Qlqa Pearl Princess, where failed novelist James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) is jet-setting through his stay with his wealthy wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman), the staff are smiling and attentive. A local man runs up to the property, riding angrily on the beach in a quad bike — “making a statement,” notes another guest, Gabe (Mia Goth). At first, the guarded, barbed wire-lined walls around the place seemed to offer protection against such hostility. But after James and Em fall in with Gabby and her partner, Alban (Jalil Lespert), repeat visitors who lure them on a day trip to a nearby cove, these fences feel less intent on keeping native Lee Tolkans at bay than turning away the tourists. in.

infinity pool It is the third and best film to date from Brandon Cronenberg, which The good will of the new baby is evident, but who’s also been admirably unafraid to invite comparisons to his famous dad by operating in the same realm of science fiction and body horror. The younger Cronenberg has qualms of his own, among them the idea of ​​a tidy globalized world in which the untethered elite roam. his last movie, 2020 action thriller body swap killer Owner, in an alternate city of Toronto, a vibrant but turbulent corporate capital. All this trade has transformed the city’s character, leaving behind glass towers inhabited by a class of modern, asexual aristocrats and their entourage. infinity poolLi Tolqa is effectively a place where the same people spend their holidays. During dinner at a Chinese restaurant run entirely by Lee Tolkans, Alban reveals that he is Swiss by way of Paris, while Gabi is from London, though they now live in Los Angeles, where he runs a magazine called glass board She works in advertising. Em, the Aussie, and James (who has that flat American accent that Skarsgård picked up from whatever locale he really is) are of the same distinct class.

The details of Li Tolqan’s society, from the rainy season festivals to the grotesque folk-art masks to the hallucinogenic root used in religious ceremonies, are bizarre, as if the very idea of ​​cultural connections were an ancient fad. But when James accidentally hits and kills someone on the way back to the resort, all the amusement over this different way of life evaporates, because federal law requires that he be executed by the dead man’s eldest son—unless James is willing to share the exception. It was offered to tourists and diplomats. For a fee, James will be cloned there in the brutal confines of a police station, using technology seemingly unique to Li Tolqa, and his fully aware persona will be slaughtered in place while he testifies. The sight horrifies Em, but James is captured and comes up with an excuse to stay company with Gabe, who he introduces to a group of fellow “zombies” who all watched themselves die at the hands of Li Tolqan’s legal system.

As Robert Angers in Hugh Jackman prestige, killing himself repeatedly every night, the deaths of their colleagues seem to have caused these people to pay an immeasurably heavy price. The weirdness of the group sex, drug use, and dreamlike violence the crew embark upon is fueled by the awareness that whatever atrocities they may commit, they can always buy their way out. Cronenberg has a taste for extreme visuals — early in the movie (on the NC-17, at least, though the version headed to theaters is R-rated), there’s a close-up of his penis ejaculation that is later reversed up close. – Stab oozing with body fluids. Rather than frame these scenes as provocative, he presents them with an aesthetic that makes them even more disturbing. The film’s mind-blowing scenes eventually become psychedelic, as does Goth’s turn as gang leader Yuling, but it’s all in keeping with the experience. It will not be a real vacation if you are not ready to finish things at least one day before you are due to leave.

In addition to being a movie about soulless airliners as a new form of The Walking Dead, rooted and not caring about anything, infinity pool is an ode to the feeling of staying too long at a party. While certainly not on purpose, it seems to signal the end of the era of getaway cinema that COVID-initiated out of necessity as much as desire. Send characters to country houses or islands of the Mediterranean or Beaches that make you old It was apt to produce the pandemic as well as to respond to the widely felt desire to break away from the constraints of our diminished existence. infinity pool, much of which was filmed at a hotel in Šibenik on the Dalmatian coast, is part of this modern tradition. However, after watching James attempt to recapture his magic through an increasingly surreal and sadistic odyssey through Les Tolka’s fictitious countryside, absorbed by workers and locals with no other choice, you’re left with no choice but to feel that maybe it is. It’s really time to go home.

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