Quite deceptive, this one. For a long while, it comes off like a screwier version of Gerry
-- one where the protagonists drove around instead of walking and fucked a lot instead of getting lost. Gradually, though, the film starts to pay attention to its characters, and that's when the getting gets good. Bruno Dumont hasn't exactly been renowned for his realistic depictions of humanity, so it's a shock to see a film with his name on it that has two leads that could pass for members of the human race. And what characters they are -- he's a location scout, she's a sullen French girl along for the ride, and apparently all they have in common is their bestial approach to the sex act. And yet, they're together. Their relationship feels combustible from the start, so naturally there's gonna be some tension... but what's both impressive and horribly effective about this film is the cruel and precise way it depicts this particular union. There's a cycle of affection and rejection that feels inescapable and completely true (compounded by the language barrier -- he speaks only rudimentary French and she apparently speaks no English), and the film's hypnotic power comes from simple repetition in the absence of action. Or, to put it another way, I started having a serious visceral reaction to the film when I realized that underneath all the quiet long-shot, long-take scenes of the two driving around and eating and fucking and attempting to communicate, we were witnessing two people who were ready to blow apart. Something was BOUND to happen. And yet, when it does... well, duck and cover. The ending is the demarcation line between the love-it and hate-it camp, and while I myself have issues with it (mainly with the first 'occurance', which feels contrived), it still leaves me with feelings of horror and dread. (After the credits rolled, I had to call my mother just so I could have somebody bring me down.) And should I penalize a film for questionable methods if the end result is still stunning? So yeah... I recommend this wholeheartedly even though everyone I know will probably hate it. Enjoy the langueur while you can... just never forget that Dumont, essentially, wants to tear your head off and shit down your neck.