Starring: Morjana Alaoui, Mylene Jampanoi
Directed by: Pascal Laugier
"They did not finish to be alive..."
You want to see some fucked up shit?.....My oh, my! some of you may have heard of Martyrs, it caused quite the stir when it was shown throughout Europe during film festival season in 2009/2008. Why was it so controversial? well, because it's violent as shit and disturbing as fuck!.
Martyrs follows the story of Anna and Lucie. They became friends many years ago at an orphanage where Lucie was sent after she had escaped from an abandoned industrial building where she was tortured by the people holding her captive. Over the years Lucie has struggled with flashbacks and inner demons, she can't cope, she can't get on with her life, and she sets out to find the people WHO did those awful things to her as a child.
Soon enough, the people are discovered. Lucie sets out for bloody revenge while Anna goes along for the ride to give Lucie support. However, Anna is unaware of just how far Lucie is willing to go, and soon enough they both find themselves surrounded by dead bodies and bloody murder on their hands.
That's pretty much the BASIC plot of the film. If i go any further i'll give too much away, and i don't want to do that because the movie takes some VERY big twists and turns, and you'll soon find yourself watching more than just a gory revenge story.
This movie isn't for everyone, for every person who loved it, i know just as many who hated it. There isn't any real message behind the film, but that wasn't the point of the movie anyway. The Director has said that he wanted to take the viewer on a journey, he wanted to give them an experience. Whether you end up liking the movie or not, there's no denying you'll have an "eye opening" experience watching it. I sure as fuck did.As i said before, there's no message behind the film, but that doesn't mean there isn't a POINT to all the violence we see on screen, there is. It just takes a whole lot of torture to get to the secret behind what's happening. If this sounds like something you're willing to give a shot, you'll get a lot out of it.
The movie left me feeling a whole mix of emotions. I thought it was confronting and disturbing, but i also thought it was really sad at times, especially during the middle portion of the story. I felt so much for one character in particular, it really threw me back. If you strip away all the violence, are you left with anything worthwhile? yes, most definitely. It's a story about survival, and how much one person can take mentally and physically. What does reaching the point of no return feel like if you completely detach your mind from your body?. It's like watching an exercise in human experience. It's gets you thinking.
When you actually find out WHY certain things in the story are happening, the movie takes an even more interesting turn. There's a slight "supernatural" vibe to the final section of the movie. There's strong links between questions about the afterlife. The makers of the film certainly took the word MARTYRS literally when they made this movie.
Credit needs to be given to the 2 lead actresses in this. Both roles required quite a lot of emotion with Lucie losing her mind and Anna being tortured for endless amounts of time. I can't imagine how you get to a place like that mentally and act out something so vicious. It's hard to watch at times, because the abuse is so relentless.
Even though the movie is very gory, the style of direction, the cinematography and the overall look of the movie are beautifully done. It's very slick in presentation. You can't take your eyes off the screen.
Martyrs has become one of my favourite horror films of all time. It still makes me think no matter how many times i see it. Every time i watch it i feel like i've just been dragged by my hair through some dirty bushes. It grabs you by the balls and rips them out. I love that people are so torn by it as well, it means it's doing what it's meant to.
I think it's a masterpiece! one of the best horror films of the last 10 decade.