If you have seen the movie "Disgrace" you may proceed reading this. If not, I urge you to watch it. Its one of the most sickening movies I've ever seen in a long time.
It is one perfect piece of horror.
WARNING: There are spoilers here.
Mr. Lurie is a terror in school, he isn't scared of his students or the school comittee. He is a self-styled servant of eros, he can charm women into his bed. A Byron expert, he can define what it was to be a person who is outside of his community in almost every aspect and remain justified and unshaken despite the majority's attempt to undermine his immunity to traditional feeling. Although he seems invincible when confronted with thoughts, it would be clear as the movie progresses that all these advantages only apply when he is in his element - places where people recognize intellect. And the south african country is not exactly a place for aging white romanticists.
But he decides to straighten up his thoughts in such a place anyway. With his daughter who lives alone in a wide stretch of unforgiving land.
John Malkovich was so good at playing the part. He really looked uneasy when he had to. Even if he was stern and uncompromising were he teached he was another man in the country. When his daughter introduced him to the black servant he was smiling and shaking his hand but it was obvious in his face that he wanted to put on his guard but was unable because of the various thoughts that take over his mind. That smile, it was so uneasy. He feels like he owes something to his daughter, owes something to the black man. And to himself. He has this strange sense of pride which limits his actions, some set of personal standards which he draws from a romantic vision on which his personality is derived. Then there is respect for his daughter, one of the few persons he truely values above all else but has grown with an independent mind which he dares not question (for now at least) and whose growth he wasn't able to oversee so that's how he must owe something to her. Then the black person who could be either harmless or otherwise and the mere idea of having him around is enough to add to Mr. Lurie's confusion as he was shaking his hand. When Mr. Lurie was introduced to his daughter's friends he seemed like a stranger to introductions. He did not know where to put his hands, where to look, what to say, he is a very awkward man. Maybe because in himself he looked down on them. He felt insecure because he saw them like they were barbarians. Or maybe he just thought there was nothing to do or say. Maybe he was the Monster after all. Or maybe the place is making too much noise. It was hell.
In the scene where Mr. Lourie was sleeping in the couch the black man just invited himself in, without knocking, turns on the TV and watches the football. He's holding a bottle of wine in his hand and was cheering, making noise, like Mr. Laurie wasn't there. It was an invasion of privacy. There was no respect. Can't a man sleep in the couch in his daughter's home without some person barging in and disturbing the peace? There was this part where he was working on a song when the blackman outside suddenly turns on the machinery and makes a racket. It is hell. Is it not? Imagine yourself in a land that whispers against your safety in every waking moment, and you are with a daughter who could be raped or killed any day; while you have skills efficient to make a living in a civilized environment you are not equipped to survive in the wilderness as your instincts are rich but are honed for art and not for survival. A lot of things make you uneasy and you have no idea how to act in certain places not because you don't know how but the presence of some people just disarms you. You face them as if you are a simple-minded man.
Some people ask you to look around, others have worse, some people have no tables to work on, some people have to work under the sun all day long and not have to bitch about it. But people are accustomed to the the world in different ways. When Mr. laurie talked to the black man about what happened and the black man just worried about the flowers to sell wtf.
Something maybe a joke to someone but it can so grave to others that it could cause madness or death. Mr. Laurie was a meek man, he wouldn't kill himself yes but he is tormented inside and that is hard. How is he meek? Maybe he has a code for it or maybe he simply acts on impulse but the way he built himself or allowed himself to be built requires meekness as a shield to protect his solitude.
It has to be torturous when you are looking for solitude in an ocean of noise. And i am not just referring to literal noise. Some things just scream in your mind like the way people are positioned, or how people pose a threat and nobody else seem to want to look at it your way. Or at least sympathize with you and offer a conversation to somehow make you feel better. Do we owe it to others? Maybe not but it won't hurt to belive in human decency and act in one's own volition. But maybe it would hurt. Standards. Then there are the personal demons which you have to deal with and they can be quite annoying as failing to quell them attaches them to you making you a worse person in both Them and Your standards.
They keep reffering to the rapists as men. But they are boys. They are young men. Boys. And they beat up an old man to rape his middle age daughter. The way they shot this part is simply amazing. It's very expressive and very offensive. Once again it shows Mr. Lurie's weakness. He did not know what to do, what to think, where to look, where to place his hands. And he had that smile again. The rapists were strange too. They looked blank, but their bodies, their expressions, were screaming rape. Id like to hear what you think of it. Because to me it was very disturbing. If you have seen my hentai most of it had boys not men. The reason for that is the age of 12 to 14 could be the sexual peak of men. It is in this age when sex seems impossible to get and only in fantasy can these things be rampant, unhindered, shown without compromise. It's like there is not just libido, but also curiosity, hunger and young pride. How i see the though of boys raping a middleage woman as gruesome I cannot put in words. It causes me so much anxiety because it is not a hentai drawn to stimulate sexual urges but rather a slice of reality happening somewhere in an existing place involving real people. Real people with real complexities not 2d characters who were thrown into sexual situations for it's own sake which is simply entertainment. It is sick that in some place these things happen and how we see it is very different from why they do it. It could be just sex for them but to others it could be otherwise. Of course they do not give a fuck. Would you give a fuck about moral principles if you are a rapist kid, fucked up from the start, and is having his way with a smooth, alabaster-skinned invader?
On another perspective: One of the reasons i find this offensive is it's not just rape. It involves a lot more than a simple crime of passion. It's like gangraping your middleschool professor. Or someone's mother for that matter. It's about power. It is evil but it is rich. It goes against a lot of principles. I will be honest to admit that in some degree i was turned on by it. It is an act that is like, "a mouse fucking a cat", "a demon fucking an angel", "food fucking a sexy waitress." South Africa was once ruled by white people. The blacks were slaves and had been opressed in their own land. So if we look at it, the whites had been the bosses in the realm. So isn't it a very gloating situation? Gloating is ugly but it's a nagging drive and satisfying it would make one a sucker to his own darkness but it just feels so sweet. The rape. It was pure as it was vengeful at the same time (what could their fathers had been teaching them? And how can something pure be vengeful?), pride-shattering, and there's the bonus of desecrating. It's punk and i can't help but to love that scene. And get sick at the same time. In fact i'm still sick of it up to now. Maybe because even with all the advantages we have acquired in this life we cannot return into children and hump our teachers. Envy, frustration, regret, animals don't have to deal with these things yet they compare us to a lot of them. Dogs, cats, mice. I once read this thing about a world ruled by cats. It wasn't trying to be funny but why are buildings shaped like scratching posts? Shaped like toys.
To paraphrase one of the lines the daughter said to her father, "They do rape... they tied me up... the stealing was just a sideline." No wonder they don't put rape in rpg games, the main quest could be turned into a sideline that way. But is it normal to imagine yourself as a rapist when you were twelve? I'm just curious.
When they were killing the dogs. That's the zombie part. Mr. Luerie was locked up in the comfort room and she could hear the dogs being shot and the boys' sinister laughing and mocking. What does a romantic think of animals? What is my basis on these things? Your basis on romance what is it? Is there a general guideline for this? Or is it always had been up to the individual? Another scene that only works if the cinematographer is good enough to make the horror movie crawl into your heart and squeeze it with hurt, rage and it's painful to say it but: awe.
The black man likes to say something like "it was bad but we are alright now." Does he really believe that? I think he does because when Mr. Laurie beat up one of the rapists nothing bad happened to him afterwards. But what if he killed him? It should be bad because those people seem to not take anything seriously apart from life itself and their livelihood. But what if Mr. Laurie got so fucked up and raped the boy? Would that be alright? What if Mr. Laurie got so fucked up and turned on the charm on the black man's wife and fucked her? These questions are so childish i feel like im bringing the film injustice but i just had to ask.
One of the most intriguing parts of this film is the character seems to be a walking time bomb but he isn't really inside him. He was too confused to explode and too wise in his pride to do something really stupid. And it should be hard because it's so realistic. If one is trying to escape through movies then they will be disappointed. They say truth is stranger than fiction but only because truth involves real feelings while fiction tries to generate feelings through arrangement of scenes. If what happened in this fictitous movie is inspired by real life occurences then this is bad fiction and a horrible truth. Hence, a good movie.
Mr. Laurie was fucking the vet. Is because he had seen boredom in her, do they connect? Are they both ravaged by the pointlesness of their current positions in life? Is it true what others say that Mr. Laurie just coudn't help himself to sleep with women in every opportunity? Or is he just sad and wanted someone's caress? I'm only writing this part because i have forgotten what i thought about the film but i want the ratio of talk about rape versus other stuff be balanced. At this point i've grown away (i hope) from feeling sick that i stop replaying the scenes in my head. If you treat some thoughts as your sanctuary and you find it molested in some form of media then that's the time that you will be sickened of almost all the activities that you do involving them. When i woke up i wanted to smoke at the backyard while looking at the cracked rocks and lichen on the walls but it feels sick. Just like the idea in A Clockwork Orange. It could be true. Some movies can be little trauma packs waiting to affect the right receptors. It is gruesome that creators do not take into account the reactions of their viewers. It could be that some creators belive in the blessing of artistic immunity which is as much of it being a perk as it can also be a curse. As movies intend to be provocative, i respect the success of Disgraced creators in inflicting a day of uneasyness to me and hopefully to a bunch of other people. I say this not as an ill will but as an experience which is quite rare in movies nowadays. I do not wish for a chaotic reality as real pain is unfair to be randomly dealt to anyone. It's just great to watch some engineered chaos which is subtle enough to not appear fantastic at all.
So they decide not to push the tragedy further and just get on with their lives. Is it because they realized that it is the law of that land? That they should not look at the other way but settle on the thought that people are in the end have not much difference from animals. The male plants his seed and the woman concieves. They have deconstructed the ideas that the viewer is trying to connect and understand. And show the vastness of the place under soft sunlight. You can see the black man's recently finished home in his new teritory that his son's victim and now his recently acquired wife has surrendered to them. Did you laugh at that part? I guess they are alright now. But only because movies last up to the credits. You can make a fan conclusion but it would not be real. Because the movie is it's own life. Beyond our own.