The Cremator ★★★★

The sophisticated psychopathy on display in Rudolf Hrusínský's lead character (Kopfrkingl) bears a deceptive contrast to the lavish extremes exhibited throughout much of the film. To lower himself to the indulgences of high society would be shameful, yet shame is nowhere to be found when indulging in his own reframing of righteousness. The veil of formality is one that conceals the character's own deplorability. His mission to save and set free all around him reveals his position that even the most luxurious living is still a prison for the soul. To set that soul free, with or without consent, is what must then be done. The context surrounding the period of the story and the incredible visual canvas through which that story is conveyed create a swaying dance between the banality of evil and normalization of insane ideals.

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