Friday, November 18, 2011

AFI FEST 2011: "Bullhead"

BULLHEAD (RUNDSKOP) (2011) **** 124 mins. D: Michael R. Roskam. Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy.

Jacky, a hulking farmer and business muscle for a faction of the Belgium hormone mafia, has a bad feeling about a proposed business deal with a notorious beef trader. After the assassination of a cop an intricate web begins to unfurl that involves Jacky's past, his present and a rather bleak outlook for the future.

Roskam's first feature film is a powerful debut that features an incredible performance by Schoenaerts. You sympathize for this man who was bullied in his youth. Despite his hulking size and violent nature you still get a sense that deep down he's actually a good man trying to find his place in the world.

This is not your stereotypical crime drama like a "Goodfellas" or "Heat". The film focuses on Jacky and uses flashbacks to tell his back story. Each flashback adds to our understanding of the character and provides a new wrinkle in the story. Without going into detail, Jacky's story is quite tragic and barrels towards its unpredictable yet inevitable conclusion.

If you have the opportunity, this is definitely one to watch.

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