Notwithstanding a lively turn from Charles Dance as a chatty brain-tumor sufferer and a perfect Charlotte Rampling as a tranquil guide to oblivion, Euphoria gives up the ghost well before either of its unhappy heroines.
Weaving a glancing love triangle into a poignant observation on the waxing and waning of creativity, Serebrennikov revels in radiant black-and-white scenes of urban grit. The vibe veers from grungy to blissful, the characters’ earnest charisma serving as the movie’s force field against criticism.
As a sales pitch for an undeniably popular program, Q Ball (filmed in 2018) builds a crescendo of hope and good will. Anyone seeking a more substantive conversation on life beyond the basket, however, will have to look elsewhere.
In “Chapter 3,” the violence has been supercharged, and so has the virtuosity. At a certain point, though, the carnage becomes deadening, its consequences no more than soulless tableaus of damage that encourage disengagement.
This putrid but at times oddly amiable exercise raised questions of an esoteric nature to this reviewer’s mind, such as “Why do all the female extras look as if they’ve been kidnapped from the post-punk club Coney Island High, since that club closed over 20 years ago?” If you too are apt to be diverted by such concerns, you might be amused by this.
The sweet smarts of Mitchell’s first movie, “The Myth of the American Sleepover” (treated to a bit of auto-allusion in “Silver Lake”) aren’t much in evidence here. Nor are the slippery psychosexual scares of “It Follows,” his breakthrough horror movie from 2015. The ambitions this time are grander, but also vaguer and duller.
Its various components defy logical arrangement both as viewed and in retrospect. What they build up to is even more seductive than anything that led up to it — a moment of breathtaking romanticism that’s as intoxicating as it is unexpected.
Too often the ideas here, visual and otherwise, feel haphazard — outer and inner space, Pattinson’s head, sexual taboo, apocalypse now or maybe then — more like material for a vision board than a fully realized vision.