Persona ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I don't even know where to start with this film, it is a true mind fuck in the best sense possible. Even with its short running time this is a highly complex and radical movie that has the ability to leave the viewer speechless on what they have just watched. Persona feels like a hallucinatory drug trip gone AWOL as we struggle to identify the two female characters and who is helping the who (or are they both helping each other?). It is a in-your-face sort of character analysis with astonishing and groundbreaking monologues that can resonant with a wide variety of viewers. Beautiful camerawork and cinematography also elevates the dialogue to unknown heights. I think the best way to describe Persona is to refer to it as a psychological thriller/horror movie that is deeply analytical on what is reality and isn't.

It has a very unsettling vibe to it but at the same time there is a deep underlying lust and passion to understand these two strange female characters even more. It has a very humanistic view on women that I have failed to see executed so well in any other film out there. It is highly compelling to watch and is definitely a thinker piece. It is visually intimate and the camera is careful to make sure that the main focal point is always on the two women. The contrast of black and white are also very heavily pronounced along with the carefully crafted composition of the cinematography. This is ultimately a unique observation into human nature and condition. It is also partially an observation of how two people communicate with one another.

Persona provides a very interesting view point on human compatibility and what it means for one person to dominate the conversation over the other (hence speculation on who is really helping who). No matter which way you look at this film the viewer will always likely find something new to debate and question with each repeated viewing. It is a difficult film to digest at first but sometimes you cannot help but come back for more in hopes of figuring it all out. It makes me wish that there were more challenging films like this out there. I like a well-crafted film that leaves more questions than answers and oh boy does Persona leave me with a lot of questions. Persona is truly unique and eye-opening and I cannot recommend this film enough for anyone willing to invest in one of the best psychological dramas ever made.

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