30 December 2008 | BenjAii
Let them eat cake
I'll start with what I liked about 'Heartbeat Detector'. It's poetical, discursive style is something I love in cinema when it's done well. I long for stories that break from the formulaic and say what they have to say while stretching the boundaries of cinematic story telling; 'Heartbeat Detector' is aiming for that. It's beautifully photographed too, it's washed out colours and florescent glare a study in disjointed alienation.
Oh, and there is some great acting going on too, but I'm going to have to get trite at this point, because I'm afraid it's all a wasted effort.
At heart this is a morality play, but it's lesson is a perversity, in that there is none at all. It's a meditation on the horrors on the Nazi death camps, that leads the protagonist to realise his role in firing employees in a downsizing European multi-national may equate to the culpability of Nazi functionaries involved in the slaughter of the death camps.
Many people will find this insulting, and it is, doubly so. Insulting to those who died in the Nazi death camps and insulting to victims whose deaths could be found comparable today.
A message to the film makers. Do you want to make a film about a man who slowly realises the banality of evil that lead to the death camps is still with us in the 21st century ? Perhaps ponder questions like why several million children in Africa die every year from diseases due to a lack of clean drinking water, while we in the West spend more than is needed to prevent this on the frivolity of bottled mineral water.
Instead how ironic under the banner of exploring awareness of social problems, the film makers show about as much social awareness as the aristocracy before the storming of the Bastille.