Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
[Needs updated review.]
Missed it’s target completely for me. In trying to communicate an array of perspectives, all ELEPHANT really succeeded in was feeling unfocused and distant. What we’re left with is muted archetypes of “characters”, and it really just serves to make it impossible for me to feel investment in the film. No ideas are explored in-depth, making the film feels extremely shallow. How many anxious tracking shots of students can a film include before it’s decided it’s gotten its point across? By the fourth and fifth time around of being shown essentially the same device, it just seems dull. As for conveying it’s central thesis, this film is a total misfire. The decision to make playing violent computer games and going on firearm websites the sole explanatory inclusion shown prior to the shooting is a very questionable choice at best. As an attempt at expressing a motivation, these offerings are incredibly weak. There’s no resonance, no soul, and not much of a takeaway at all. In the end, it’s a film devoid of humanity, which, for a story like this, is unforgivable.