Mandy (2018): Action / Horror / Thriller

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Producer Elijah Wood sets up a meeting with director Panos Cosmatos and actor Nicolas Cage and they wonder: How do we pitch “Mandy”? They scratch their heads for a while and then it hits them: “I Spit on your Grave” (1978) meets “Hellraiser” (1987) – OK, that didn’t happen.

A hippie cult and their demon rider attack a couple in their secluded cabin in the woods, savagely kill the wife, forcing the husband to watch. And all hell breaks loose…

A psychedelic journey to a sinister world of surrealism which makes acting chameleon Nicolas Cage go absolutely berzerk and pull every beloved face from the “Vampire’s Kiss” (1988) to “Ghost Rider” (2007). Linus Roach is right behind him giving it all! On the other hand, Panos Cosmatos offers a “Grindhouse” experience including his favourite trademarks: High film grain, characters on LSD speaking slowly and in a strange manner, campfires…

One could analyze its sequences separately and write essays on them. But that is boring, and you don’t care. There are certain films or directors (say, David Lynch) that must be watched and either left alone or processed internally. Analysis ruins it. Enjoy the experience. As for people who are hell-bent on pathologically giving negative reviews, maybe it would be best if they didn’t judge a film and rate it according to how they would have wanted it to be made. Maybe they should accept the diversity of cinematic schools of thought and realize how malleable visual storytelling can be.

Received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes.

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