Monday, October 9, 2023

Divinity (20233) opens Friday

DIVINITY maybe coming out 50 years too late. This is a film that should have come out in the early 1970s when it could have played the midnight circuit and did a late night double feature with ERASERHEAD and broken everyone who saw it.

Then again maybe it's a good thing it waited until now to be released because this film is a trip.

The minimal plot has two bald brothers kidnapping a pharmaceutical mogul who sells Divinity. Divinity is a drug that stops aging and makes 97% of women who use it infertile. They want to put a stop to the madness. Meanwhile, a group of women in a bright void make their own plans to rescue humanity.

The plot and characters are a mere pretense for a series of stark black and white sequences that hook us draw us in. This is  a trip across a nightmarish landscape to the center of our souls. And while the film is trying to say something about society and the way we favor the young, the beautiful and are becoming more and more centered on ourselves, the reality is the film is more interested in creating a head space that alters our sense of reality.

It's this last bit - the head trip aspects of the film - that makes the film feel like a blood relative to David Lynch's first feature. Director Eddie Alcazar wants to make us feel that we are not only not in Kansas any more, but that we aren't even in Oz. We are somewhere darker. I know the film is getting noticed because Steven Soderbergh is connected to it, but the truth is this is Alcazar's baby and he should be getting all the credit. I can't see Soderburgh doing anything but making sure the film got made.

Is this a good or bad film? Honestly good or bad doesn't enter into it. This is an experience. It is something you experience to go somewhere else. It's a film that you see in the hope of changing how you see the world. This is not a film that is operating on an intellectual level but a visceral one. You can't objectively react to it because it's so primal and because to do so will result in picking the plot and details apart. This is all emotion and the film is having at you with hammer and tongs leaving to broken and bruised. It's a film that emotionally hits all the right buttons and leaves you staring at the screen at the end wondering what in the holy hell just happened while completely accepting that what just happened made absolute perfect sense.

This is a film that demands to be seen in a darkened theater with no distractions. More than any recent film this is not a film to watch on your phone because you need this twisted vision of the future to be larger than life and six times more ugly.

Highly recommended. This is a must see for anyone who loves the movies and wants to see what they can do.

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