Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neil (playing it amusingly over-the-top in an early role) star as a married couple on the rocks. Yelling, screaming and electric knife fights ensue as well as
Adjana's character giving birth to a slimy tentacle creature in a subway who she proceeds to get sexual pleasure from and feeds would be lovers to. In other words - War Of The Roses on crack.
This Cannes film festival winner is one strange veiwing experience. A combination of avante garde and horror, Polish director Andrzej Zulawski's Possession has been internationally praised for it's eerie, hypnotic tone and gruesomely shocking sequences. The bottom line though is that this is a completely self-indulgent, tedious time that seems to go on and on without ever fully captivating the viewer.
It's beautifully shot with some great performances from the leads but the whole thing ends up being one big frustration that leaves you cold. Whether that's the director's intent or not doesn't forgive this for being a colossal bore. Even the much talked about subway birth scene isn't really much to talk about.
When this originally hit North American shores it was trimmed by almost fifty minutes! Anchor Bay has released this on DVD fully remastered and fully uncut. In other words -
more time we'll never get back.
Review based on uncut version. (Derek Carlson, 5/16/04)
Directed By: Andrzej Zulawski.
Written By: Andrzej Zulawski, Frederic Tuten.
Starring: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neil, Heinz Bennent, Margit Carstensen.