FILM REVIEW

'PURE MADNESS'
- Directed by Lander Haverals -

“Pure Madness” is an experimental short about the struggle of a man suffering from mental illness.

It is a visually compelling film with an innovative structure. It is composed of disparate sequences that show the evolution of a tormented character by illustrating his thoughts and moods.

At the beginning of the video, we find out that the script was outlined by the subject of portrayal, months before his suicide. Inserts of white paper containing few scribbled words work like chapter titles along the film, informing the audience about the character’s progress or regress. The viewer meets the character  in a series of close shots, in which he talks to the camera about his trouble. The man delivers the information directly to the spectator, who looks right at him while he speaks about his disease, his fears, his beliefs, his emotions. There are numerous visual effects (fast motion, superimposition, time lapse) that were used in order to convey the confusion and agony of the protagonist, while the jump cuts hint at his shifting moods. The disarticulated sounds help the audience get even closer to the inner world of the character. The chunky rhythm of editing suggests the anguish of a young man suffering from borderline personality disorder. The voice-over monologue following the character’s stream of consciousness is an authentic piece of writing that gives essential information about the man’s own universe but also builds expectation, keeping the audience focused. At first, he talks about his obsessions and his beliefs, but he succumbs to equanimity, as he loses hope in the medical system, in humanity and finally in himself.

The actor managed to render the anxiety and disappointment of this character and delivered  a noteworthy performance, which peaks in the final scene of the film. The ending sequence represents the liberation of the character from his pain: he passionately plays at an invisible violin, gradually getting rid of the turmoil.

We appreciate the sensitivity and expressiveness of this film that tackles a difficult and emotional subject. The creative team paid great attention to detail in every aspect of the filmmaking process and the result is a meaningful piece of cinema.

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