Written by: JoeTerror
Fabrice du Welz’s Vinyan is a decent into hell and madness that seems to take a very long time getting there and once you reach the payoff it left this viewer a bit disappointed.
Set against the backdrop of post-tsunami Thailand and the jungles of Burma, the film is gorgeous to look at and gives us a glimpse into a culture, at least I wasn’t aware of. The leads are strong actors and the story at first is very compelling but it tends to drag and loses it’s momentum as it goes along. The real “grit” of the story doesn’t happen till at least an hour in and by then I felt like I had been travelling through the jungle for hours and was beginning to go mad myself.
Paul (Rufus Sewell) and Janet (Emmanuelle Beart) star as a married couple in Thailand trying to cope with tragedy of losing their son, and though no body was ever found mom cannot give up the hope that he is alive somewhere in the jungles of Burma. When she spots a small child in a video presentation that’s wearing a jersey similar to her sons, she firmly believes he’s alive and they must find him at any cost. Her husband tries to be supportive but he has his doubts much like their friends. She won’t take no for an answer though and thus the adventure into the heart of the jungle begins. Along the way they meet all kinds of unusual characters including creepy children that would make the “village of the damned” kids look like sweethearts! Paul and Janet butt heads throughout and slowly Janet becomes more and more erratic and crazed over the obsession of finding her son. At one point she learns the meaning of “vinyan” and takes part in an amazing and beautiful ceremony for the “ones that were lost”.
The film touches on a number of themes, is stunning visually, superb acting, but really tends to be too dragged out with a number of scenes with little or no dialogue, that it wore me out and I began to lose interest. It does have a fine ending but by then it was too little too late.