• Name: Piercing
• Year: 2018
• Country: USA
• Director: Nicolas Pesce
• Main cast: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Bond, Laia Costa
• Runtime: 81 minutes
• Production company: BorderLine Films, Borderline Presents, Memento Films International
I can imagine adapting a very sordid novel to the big screen is not an easy quest. And obviously, the filmmaker doesn’t want to be a copycat, they want to bring their own personal vision of the story to the movie, and then is when many of the fans could get offended or lose interest. Perhaps this is the case of Nicolas Pesce and his version of the Ryû Murakami novel in the movie Piercing (2018).
For those who are not familiar with the novel work and filmmaking of Ryû Murakami, have in consideration that besides directing some of his film adaptations himself, with results so extreme that sometimes they have to be labeled as adult films for their graphical sexuality and violence, he might be better known for being the screenwriter of Audition (1999), the amazing flick directed by Takashi Miike. You start to get the picture, right?
Why am I talking so much about the original novel and not its movie adaptation, since it’s the object of this review? Well, pretty much because the best feature in Piercing (2018) is, by far, the background story behind the whole film. And I say behind because, in my opinion, this is a very lousy movie. Nicolas Pesce wrote the script adaptation and directed the film, but he forgot on the way what the whole essence. In the original novel, a man comes to terms with his overwhelming desire to stab his infant child with an ice pick. He resolves to divert the impulse into an unsuspecting prostitute. That part is depicted so poorly in the movie that almost goes unnoticed in the global terms. The filmmaker focuses on the planning of the crime and the aftermath of its attempt, but with a not very successful result. The fucked up man in the head plans meticulously his moves and consequences of the homicide, but instead of feeling creepy or dangerous they look ridiculous. And when the situation just flips it all is so lost that one can’t help to wonder if we are watching some sort of comedy, an unfunny one, or a very failure of a sordid game of a film.
As he did in his previous movie, The Eyes of My Mother (2016), director Nicolas Pesce wants to achieve more than his skills and technique are capable of. Both in narrative or as a competent audiovisual creator. He takes lots of risks, but he shoots himself in the foot. And the direction of actors is seriously deficient. Christopher Abbott is always laughable, and even an actress with the talent of Mia Wasikowska is unable to salvage her role.
If I have to outstand something positive within all this madness that must be the set decoration. Most of the movie happens inside the apartment of the mysterious prostitute after the frustrated murderer fails once again in his attempt to perforate a human being. And I must spotlight that apartment is some yummy piece of a place! Also, the use of strong colors gives the film some retro atmosphere, almost close to the Giallo style. At least visually the decorators and the cinematographer got it right. But, obviously, not enough to save ourselves from very boring 80 minutes.
I rate the movie with a 4 out of 10 because of the sordid of the background story, but I feel like the rating should be even lower. I’m sorry, I just didn’t like this Piercing (2018) at all. And honestly, I’m not very excited with the idea of watching the next title Nicolas Pesce is to bring, which will be the new remake for Grudge (2019). Lord, whoever you are, takes us confessed.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6516314
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