I went shopping for movies last week. The first thing I picked up was "Spirited Away". It was on sale, so it was a no-brainer. After I had picked that up, I saw something that caught my attention: "Innocence" by Lucile Hadzihalilovic. the cover of the movie was full of snippets from praising reviews. I haven't heard of it before, but it seemed interesting. So I decided to risk it, and bought it. Yesterday me and the Mrs. watched it.

First things first: The Mrs. didn't like it. It was "too weird" and "boring". And I can understand why she feels like that. But there is something in the movie....

I'm not going to spoil the movie, so I'll just provide a general idea of the movie: It tells of a group of about 8-12 old girls who live in a strange boarding-school. New girls arrive to the school in coffins via underground tunnel. There's no apparent exit from the school, apart from those tunnels. Every year new girls arrive at the school (in coffins), and the elder girls leave the school to go "outside".

The girls live in five separate houses. Apparently the ages of the girls are one year apart from each other. Every day at 9pm the eldest girl of the group leaves to go somewhere, but she's always back before morning. During the day, the girls play and study dancing and biology. They can't leave the grounds of the boarding-school. They can't see their families.

Sounds simple enough? Not really. We are never told what's really going on. We are presented with questions, but we are never given any answers. Everything is open for intrepetation, and there are lots of details to intrepet. In a way, the movie presents a series of events to the viewer, and encourages the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

The movie is very beautiful. There's scene after scene of beautiful cinematography, and the movie lingers on those scenes, allowing the viewer to really take it all in. The dialogue is quite minimal, the viewer is encouraged to watch, instead of listen.

Is it a good movie? Well, that's hard to say. I can see why someone might feel disappointed. The movie is very atypical. It doesn't explain anything, it doesn't give answers to anything. After watching the movie, the viewer is left thinking "what the hell just happened? What's going on? What does it all mean?". While some people might feel disappointed, since we are grown accustomed to Hollywood-movies that are so obvious that the viewer doesn't have to think at all, there are those who can really appreciate this movie. I noticed that after the movie I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I just saw. And by "thinking" I don't mean "whoa, those special effects were cool!", but rather "what does it mean?". It's quite rare to see a movie like this these days.

If you want brainless entertainment, steer clear of this movie. If you want an "easy" movie, steer clear of this movie. If you want a movie that challenges you to think and draw your own conclusions, this is the movie for you.

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