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“And they descended upon the earth to strengthen their ranks”

Invite Borgman for a shower in your home

It creeps in with dead silence, tears the illusions, lifts the curtains, dismantles the perfect garden and leaves with nothing but ashes left behind. It was ever present inside the roots, always lurking in shadows, lingering in the silence between verbal brawls and hiding in the spaces between all those unsaid words. It’s laughing fits were suppressed in the clinks of champagne toasts and presence concealed in high end mannerisms of upper cultures. It’s betrayal, failure, disappointments, nightmares and lust, all roll balled into one devilish persona: Camile Borgman.

There is absolutely no direction to which Borgman points. Neither the beginning mattered, nor the end. There is not a single shred of explanation in its narrative and this is exactly what which makes it provocatively thrilling while sticking to its core nature of downright absurdism. A disintegration of a family shot in parallel to uprooting of a garden is probably one of the most striking visual allegory as depicted in Borgman. Peel under and you’ll cut across plentiful layers to keep your mind on the edge throughout the run time. It challenges the norms, twists conventions and remains playfully out of grasp.

Alex Van Warmerdam takes a leaf from psychological prowess of an idea over man and directs Borgman beautifully. The restrained surface having violent ripples inside this upper class family of Marina (Hadewych Minis) and Richard (Jeroen Perceval) has been handled with scissor like precision, almost impeccably. What eludes grandness is only the vagueness of the climatic shot and some unanswered curiosities which by the end, should be forgotten for the sake of artistic freedom.

A piercing look inside the suburban family of Netherlands, Borgman unfolds in a manner both darkly funny while being symbolically layered and provides no easy answers. It’s bold, brilliant, seductive and just like Camile Borgman, manages to be mystically intriguing and devilishly attractive.

★★★½

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