After the beautiful Show Me Love (Fucking Åmål) and the confronting Lilja 4-ever it’s disappointing to see Lukas Moodysson’s new film is a turgid, rambling mess.
A Hole In My Heart comprises only the bare bones of a narrative, and fills in the gaps with some confronting imagery of surgery and sex (not necessarily in that order), and a group of f**ked up people generally doing their best to get more f**ked up. The plot summary on IMDb is ‘In a decript [sic] apartment, a young man watches as his father and a friend shoot an amateur porn film. Issues of morality, reality TV and friendship are explored.’ Hmmm… well I agree with the first sentence, although I failed to witness any of the said ‘issues’ being explored. This is a film that starts out confronting, and then attempts to continuously push boundaries of taste without any hint of artistic integrity.
The performances are all fine, considering. I hope that the actors were in the right frame of mind to enjoy themselves, because otherwise it would have been even more unpleasant to perform than to witness. The entire film is pretty much set within four rooms, and the hand held, documentary-like cinematography ensures that nothing in the frame is even remotely pleasing to the eye.
I wasn’t the only one to dislike the film. At the Melbourne International Film Festival screening there was a steady stream of people exiting the cinema from about the 25-minute mark. The people who remained (myself included) I’m sure only did so out of some sort of stubbornness.
I can be so harsh about this film because I know Moodysson is capable of so much more. The intelligence and sensitivity he displayed in his earlier films (which he wrote and directed) are sorely lacking here. The best explanation I can find is here, where Moodysson seems reluctant to explain in any detail what he was driving at with A Hole In My Heart. I doubt this film will have a widespread release, but the only reason you’d see it is so you can boast to other people that you sat through it. I got nothing from this film.Rating: