Mandy (2018)

Name: Mandy
Year: 2018
Country: USA, Belgium
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Main cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Runtime: 121 minutes
Production company: SpectreVision, Umedia, Legion M


The case of the movie Mandy (2018) is a little bit strange inside the 2018 film panorama. It’s a film that many people is talking about, not only the fans of horror and action movies, for good and for bad, and mostly because of its main star, that actor called Nicolas Cage. But Mandy (2018) is not only Nicolas Cage, not by far, but it wouldn’t be what it is without him. Okay, this could sound strange, so let’s get more into detail.

Overall, Mandy (2018) is an author movie. The hand of its writer and director Panos Cosmatos is patent from the very first second of running time until the projection is over. When he presented it at the Sitges Film Festival he mentioned how it took him 10 years to build the story, how he drew tears, blood and sweat to pen and imagine the audiovisual spectacle that this movie is. Mandy (2018) is the result of a tormented filmmaker who wanted for 2 hours to drag the audience into his inner hell, into his mind, his dreams and his fears. It is not a movie hard to follow, don’t be afraid of that, but it surely has much more than it could first seem. In fact, the story is very simple. For the first part of the movie we see the character of Nicolas Cage together with his wife Mandy, played amazingly by Andrea Riseborough, in an intense obscure and ruthless performance that many members of the audience are going to keep in our mind for a long time, I included. Her eyes, her evil laugh, if I was mentioning before Mandy (2018) wouldn’t be the same without Nicolas Cage, it’s exactly the same case with Andrea Riseborough. The director never digs too much into the personality of the couple, we don’t know about their past, we only share a few hours of their lifes on the screen. But that is enough to know the two of them have something special. And then, hell breaks loose. Mandy gets kidnapped and murdered by a bunch of “Jesus freaks” and revenge is served.

So yes, Mandy (2018) is a revenge flick. Like so many others we all have seen many times before. But it’s different. Although the plot is even simpler than other titles of this sort, the movie itself is more complex. Because it is not only a story on the screen, but a show to have all the senses alert. The cinematography is simply fantastic, especially in the lights subject, creating images that sometimes seem to be closer to experimental cinema. And the music by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson is truly breathtaking. His obscure melodies, most of the times very close to dark drone music or doom metal, are the perfect partner to construct this movie as an amazing audiovisual piece.

And yes, the acting is very good. Nicolas Cage probably does the best performance in years if not of his entire career, and as mentioned before Andrea Riseborough deserves to be taken in a different consideration for her astonishing job, but Panos Cosmatos has created a piece that is above all that. If his latest movie, his debut film Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010), presented a filmmaker with a different and very personal feeling for images and storytelling, with Mandy (2018) he almost creates a new genre. There are other movies in the current horror panorama that are innovative visual experiences. Filmmakers like Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani do their own very personal stuff with Laissez bronzer les cadavres (2017) [read our review here] and Amer (2009), Park Chan-wook made his own magic in movies like I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006) and his Vengeance trilogy, and Panos Cosmatos is also creating his own style, dark, violent, direct and loud, but still extremely beautiful.

This is said very often, but Mandy (2018) is not a movie for everyone. And it’s one of those titles that you either love or hate, almost with no in-betweens. I loved it, very much. But you must know this is serious shit, leaves nobody indifferent.

RATE: 8/10


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