I Stand Alone (1998) (Movie Review)
Director: Gaspar Noé
The Butcher (known from Noe’s short film Carne) has done some time in jail after beating up the guy who tried to seduce his teenage mentally-handicapped daughter. Now he wants to start a new life. He leaves his daughter in an institution and moves to Lille suburbs with his mistress. She promised him a new butcher shop. She lied. The butcher decides to go back to Paris and find his daughter.
This is probably one of the more depressing movies I’ve had the pleasure of watching in some time. But this is also a movie that took what it had and placed it together to make a very chilling and visually creative and stylish finished product. We follow a former butcher who is down on his luck for this one. Most the film is just title screens with words, or shots that linger with the butcher’s inner monologue going over it. As simple as that is the film remains appealing and interest consuming from its start to its finish. And the subject matter it dips and dives into get rather disturbing from time to time as well. I’d say, I Stand Alone, knocks it out of the park for packing so much into a very simple package.
And when I say disturbing I don’t necessarily mean all gore and blood, yet we have that in spots too. It isn’t all kittens and rainbows in this, folks. We have some very dark and brooding areas to visit in this, in both the mind and the character’s actions. Our lead seems to think he’s a good man, but he does do things that make you question that. And still we end up feeling sorry for him at different times as well. Gaspar Noé has given us some very haunting and creative works, this is another one. It isn’t as strong as Enter the Void or Irreversible, but it is still very underrated.