Holy Motors

Holy Motors ★★★★

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

This review may contain spoilers.

Holy Motors is a film that reminds you of cinemas ability to confound. It's a film that seemingly makes little or no sense at all but produces some terrific images amongst the long passages of confusion. If the film feels like it makes no sense then one thing I do enjoy is trying to decipher the film, does it have any meaning at all? If it does then what is it? If it doesn't then why not make up our own meaning?

I honestly cannot claim to know which is true but here is how I look at the film, it's a series of appointments that are staged like acting gigs for our main protagonist. Except it is highly unlikely they are, it is my belief that our main man has been led to believe that they are by who ever gives him the appointments. Why they would do this is another issue I don't have an answer to but at one stage our main man refers to cameras being so small now as if not to see them. This would imply that he believes he is being filmed. Also the multiple costume and make-up changes that are always a big part of any acting performance.

Plus we have numerous genres we can look at, the green screen action film, an Andy Serkis like motion capture, domestic dramas, anarchic comedy and even the crime genre are all represented. Maybe the film on some level points towards are love of cinema dictating how we see life? Like for instance love is so often represented in its most romanticised form on screen, the reality of it is that it is never truly like what we see on screen, but we aspire to feel that. Maybe our man takes on these jobs because he is disillusioned from reality and the idea that he is acting in these various roles breathes life into him like nothing else can. The introduction of Kylie Minogue later on in the film seems to suggest that there is something in reality, something between the two character that our man wants to forget, leave behind. Again this could play into the idea that the fiction nature of these appointments allows him to disappear from that tormented reality.

Another point to make is the beginning, which starts with an auditorium full of people sleeping. What I think is our man (it's actually Leo Carax, the films director) then wakes up from his bed in another room and enters the auditorium, watching from above as a baby and an animal walk down the isle, what the hell does that mean? Is this him watching the performance of his life that everyone is oblivious to?

Christ I don't have a clue really, the movie might just be complete and utter nuts like the impish character that harassed Eva Mendes. That character has appeared before in the short film trilogy, Tokyo! I haven't seen that but I can see why he appears again, he is frankly a horrifying character, one I would be a little unnerved to have anywhere near me.

The movie ends with talking limos, that's how mad this film is. Maybe our man has been drugged to believe he is performing rather than actually carrying out the appointments for real and hearing talking limos is a side effect!? Or maybe the director Leo Carax is on drugs himself?

Ether way, cinema needs films that confound, films that break the mold and that are bold in the way they are told. David Lynch has confounded us in the past and he is adored by me and by millions more. Whilst I'm not sure Leo Carax is quite on that level (I have no idea if he is capable of making straight films, like Lynch can ether), I do think that this film deserves to be talked about. It's very easy to hate it and dismiss it as nonsense but I think it's bizarreness is rather stimulating as well as maddening.

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