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So they wanted to make a very serious movie, and thus they filled their movie with serious things: colonialism, rape, child murder, et.c... and they belong to the school of thinking where you're supposed to be stiff and dour when dealing with serious things – so the movie is stiff and dour all the way through.
Reviews of the movie emphasize the fact that the violence is uncomfortable to watch, and that it mostly manages to be so without being graphic and gorny – and that's true and it's a good thing. We need the occasional reminder that violence is ugly and nasty.
But in the end, the lack of life and humanity means the movie can never be truly tragic, and moments that are clearly meant to be dignified and emotional end up feeling narmy and embarrassing.
It's a shame, because the plot is fine and it's a good idea for a movie. Someone should do it right.
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