電影《邊境奇譚》影評：[Film Review] Border (2018) 7.1/10邊境奇譚影評
BORDER, Iranian-Swedish filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s second feature, has an enticing beginning, a thickset, Neanderthal-looking woman Tina (Melander), works as a custom officer in a Swedish airport and possesses a psionic ability to sniff out contraband through the malefactors’ aberrant emotions (guilt, fear, rage, etc.), and a subplot of a pedophile ring surfaces when she discovers a secretive memory card from a spiffy passenger, and later, she is recruited to use her superpower to locate his accomplices in the field work.
But the major story pans out around Tina’s quotidian lives, dwelling in a sylvan neighborhood with a dog trainer named Roland (Thorsson), yet refusing his sexual advance, visiting her dementia-stricken father (Ljunggren) in the sanatorium, and most extraordinarily, she shares a mystic communion with the natural denizens, a fox (also seen on the movie’s poster) manifests near her window one night, eager to communicate, Abbasi competently concocts a pervasive aura of animism and mysticism, all suggests Tina, albeit her human-lookalike attributes, may differ from the rest of us.
The answer slowly unravels when a similar-looking man Vore (Milonoff) crops up apropos of nothing, when they see eye to eye, soon one thing leads to another, after a mind-boggling roll in the sack amid the woods with a pre-mined gender-reversed shock (Vore, biologically speaking, is not a male, so what about Tina?), the bite detrimentally abates when the nature of their thunder-fearing species is uttered and explicated. Afterward, tepidly blending the half-baked pedophile atrocity (with which Vore is conveniently linked) with a generic political leaning of the abused seeking vengeance (a thinly veiled allegory echoes Abbasi’s own ethnic minority), the narrative gives Tina the obvious decision to choose, joining in her own kind or, raised as a human, she digs in her heels to stay in the human world, and Tina’s choice is nothing if not reassuring, as emblazoned by the ethos: compassion transcends among species.
More often than not, an innovative gimmick falls by the wayside, but BORDER, the recipient of Un Certain Regard award at Cannes, shows up Abbasi’s idiosyncratic streak that can promise a very different Scandinavian movie practitioner has emerged through his formative years. Notably for its Oscar-nominated craftsmanship in the make-up and hairstyling department (including sheer uncanny works applied to an infant), credited to G?ran Lundstr?m and Pamela Goldammer, both Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff overcome the hindrance of disfiguring prosthetics to achieve a Herculean task, to elicit the salient differences in spite of their similar instincts and extractions, for that alone, BORDER deserves a hearty pat on the back.
referential entries: Joachim Trier’s THELMA (2017, 7.3/10); Tomas Alfredson’s LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008, 8.5/10).