Yesterday I was able to go to the cinema with a friend to watch Nymphomaniac part II, which first part I reviewed here. First of all i can say that my friend, who hadn´t watch the first part was able to understand it with very little help of me, so we can figure that the story is not the biggest issue in this film.
As the first flick, it´s a modern adaptation of 1001 Nights, an old man finds an unconscious woman in a dark street and takes her to his place, healing her wounds. She tells him her life as a nymphomaniac.
Even though at the beginning of both parts it´s said that this cut hasn´t been the director´s cut (the original movie lasts about 5 hours and those two, together, maybe last 4 hours and 10 minutes more or less) he agreed to divide it in two.
It makes sense, this second part is very different to the first one in many aspects.
One of the funniest and less erotic scenes in the movie
I must warn you: this flick is far more intense, dark, bizarre, dramatic and violent than the first one.
For me, vol.1 was like them playing a game, they talked and theorized about sex without getting too involved, it seems like Joe, the nymphomaniac, didn´t start to realize the consequences of her acts and of her condition until the second part. And there, you can trust me, she feels pain. In many sort of ways.
This scene may upset some viewers, it´s the longest and most explicit on the film
Don´t get too scared, there´s a lot of humor in this movie as in the first one. Ironic, dark humor; but there is!
I loved some of the scenes, they are beautifully shot and contain great performances from the actors but other ones weren´t that good (for example SPOILER when she gets whipped SPOILER wasn´t very interesting to me, it was too long and therefore pointless).
Also, there are stupid scenes, like in many other Von Trier movies. Just watch the start of this second part and you will understand what I´m saying. The director tries to parody himself but he just creates an ugly, useless scene.
Like I said before, the film´s story is not the big deal for Von Trier, so the rythm is slow (even slower than the first part) but there are very interesting conversations. Some of them may sound too polemic at first sight but the thoughts brought into the screen by the characters are carefully constructed, deep and good to think about later.
For me, the ending was quite predictable and a little bit disappointing but the truth is I didn´t figure any other better, so it´s just OK. It also features a nice explanation about the whole character of Joe, what helps the viewer to digest better everything that happened until then.
The sound and music are very important in this movie, there´s a great use of the silence and of classic music.
Symbolism is very important in this movie
By the way, 2 marketing complaints: the many famous actors that appear on the posters are not that important, main characters are Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin and Shia LaBeouf. The rest are just anecdotic (I guess Udo Kier´s part may be cut from this version, he just appears 2 minutes as a waiter!).
That´s a little bit of bad taste on communication, the posters are just the faces of all the famous actors having an orgasm and many of them don´t even have sex on the movie.
Just 4 of those characters have sex in the movie
Also, the "Forget about love" logline is very attractive but as well, it´s not accurate. There´s a lot to say about love here, the nymphomaniac loves herself because of what she is and puts herself before chosing a life with anyone else. So the logline should be more like "Forget about loving others, love yourself". But that doesn´t sell so much, right?
Camera style, as usual, shaky, many blurry scenes and everything I already told in the first part analysis.
As a conclusion, Nymphomaniac is a very dark film with an intelligent sense of humor, maybe a little bit too slow (but the pace invites you to think about what they say), great music selection, high level dialogues and performances and nasty scenes that may upset some viewers. It deals with great and original topics and is so intense that the less shocking images are the sexual explicit ones.
So, forget about sex.
Just watch a great movie, but be prepared to what you are about to see.
My guess is that it will be rated R or NC-17.