“I come for the reaper…”
Mandy, for the uninitiated, is less a movie and more a 121 minute drug trip.
A glorious and mystifying drug trip.
Panos Cosmatos’ second film is something bewildering and unsettling, haunting and beguiling and yet also wickedly entertaining. Much, as with all his recent films, has been said about Nicolas Cage’s performance and while the focus is always put on his less than restrained side, Cage puts just the right amount of crazy in his turn as Red, the films revenge driven hero.
There’s a surprising emphasis on silence and restraint in dialogue here which definitely curbs him from going full “Wicker Man” but when the time comes for the tempo to be cranked, Cage gives it both barrels. Andrea Riseborough, playing the titular Mandy, is wonderful and puts in an understated and ethereal performance while Linus Roache is just straight menacing as villain, Jeremiah Sand. Both are genuinely captivating to watch, giving the film it’s real beating heart.
While the plot may be threadbare at times, the stunning visuals carry you on such a journey that it can be forgiven. Mandy feels like possibly the greatest prog rock music video ever created and it also happens to be a damn fine revenge film to boot. Everything from it’s score, genuinely unsettling villain to it’s almost Giallo influenced colour palette add to an atmosphere that many films attempt but rarely pull off with this level of panache.
It will no doubt be a divisive experience but I highly recommend a viewing if you’re even slightly interested in more avant garde cinema, prog rock or Argento inspired visuals.
Also there’s a chainsaw fight.
So there’s that.