Quite possibly the freshest voice to have come out of festivals in last five years, Dolan has been a critics soul candy. He broke stereotypes with his aggressive approach towards content and hyper stylistic narration techniques. With Its Only the End of the World, he did not shy away and gave an utterly resonant attempt at fully grasping human emotions.
When a successful gay writer returns back to an unsuccessful family after a ten years of absence to announce his terminal disease, he finds that’s the least of his worries. Atypical family spiraled beautifully out of symmetry and so far away from the box, his last living refuge becomes a landmine of conflicts. There’s the self obsessed mother, a violently rage fueled brother and his timidly quiet yet deeply affected, wife. And then his sister, faltered in shadows of his brother’s success and yet somehow, picking herself to love him all over again.
Spot on casting elevates the tensions like nothing else. Gaspard Ulliel was simply breathtaking in his reserve and Marion Cotillard wore expressions of a feather lost in a hurricane. But its Vincent Cassel who steals the show with his masochistic portrayal of rage. Dolan sticks his camera just beyond what is comfortable and makes us suffer the agony and pains of a dysfunctional family. Somewhere misplaced in the buildup, he finds destructive energy and a breakneck surge of emotions in the latter half of the movie. With strong writing and a moving climax, the movie hit you hard in the guts.
Xavier Dolan draws a hard boiled character driven drama devoid of any closures. Faces fill the screen, their angst settle in the atmosphere and scream crashes down the windowpanes. The house in itself seems to sit on a bucket load of explosives. A self indulged emotional roller coaster, Its Only the End of the World might not be the soul stirring experience that one was hoping for but still has plentiful power to knock your guards down.