Written By: Riyan Bajric
Leaving us on the cusp of coming…to any real closure with our young protagonist Joe (Stacy Martin), von Trier throws quite the curve ball with his character and the overall story, allowing the narrative to take an unexpected turn. After five chapters in the life of Joe’s deranged and numb life, we continue into her sexual escapades as she becomes a woman, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Nymphomaniac: Volume II picks up exactly where Volume I left off, and doesn’t leave any sex or shock behind. Instead, Volume II is the overly stimulated, ultra aroused, and intellectually charged sexual explicit drama that Volume I never was.
I didn’t discover Lars von Trier until the tender age of twenty-two years old, and like so many others, it was all thanks to his shocking and highly controversial film Antichrist. In the midst of my growing cinematic knowledge, I became intrigued with von Trier’s body of work. Although I didn’t seem to have the stomach for the aforementioned film, I was curious and looked into his previous directorial efforts, like Manderlay and Dogville instead. Two years later, I got myself into the theatre and watched my very first von Trier film on the big screen, Melancholia. Even though my expectations for the film differed from the moment the film started, I knew I was experiencing something unique; a visceral film with hints of philosophical rants and raves, abstract imaging and a certain level of pretentiousness; unbeknownst to me at the time, the very ingredients to any good von Trier film. Fast forward another two years, and von Trier delivers his banned and highly provocative sexual epic; an oeuvre of bold claims, passionate sexual stylistics and raw sex, in two parts no less, that is not for the faint of heart.