Unlike the science fiction movies, Melancholia is a fantasy drama that revolves around the idea of apocalypse, setting itself apart from the others. The story took a sophisticated and elegant approach to capture the mind and soul of each character inside out as the rogue planet Melancholia is due to collide with earth.
Written and directed by Lars von Trier, Melancholia tells a heavy-hearted story that centres around two sisters Justine and Claire, whom was played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg respectively. The mentally disturbed Justine wed her lover under an increasingly tense and hostile relationship occurring between her family members.
Despite Claire's finest attempt to give her an extravagant wedding party, the wedding finally emerges into a total catastrophe, leaving Justine torn apart psychologically. On the contrary, Claire was endowed with a blissful life, and has a loving husband and child. However, she was overwhelmed with dismay when she eventually learns the inevitable collision between earth and Melancholia. The story illustrates how the deeply depressed remain calm during traumatic situations, while the blessed ones become painfully restless. Meanwhile, the orphan planet was named – ironically – Melancholia. It adheres to the sombre mood of the characters and the murky atmosphere at every inch.
The two-hour long film is comprised of two parts; one part entitled Justine, the other entitled Claire. This enables von Trier to portrait each of the character's psyches and feelings in great depth. The acting crew has also demonstrated a professional interpretation of the film's thematic concerns. In addition, Dunst and Gainsbourg deliver exceptional performances; Dunst was awarded with the title of Best Actress at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
Melancholia spells originality and uniqueness in terms of its story line and filming technique. The film is indeed visual. Filming was taken place at the Tjolöholm Castle in Sweden, creating particularly delicate scenes that are elaborated in a rather romantic style, as if a collection of stunning pictures has composed the entire film. Special effects were also incorporated into certain scenes for complimentary purposes, while the rationalities of physics no longer exist.
On the other hand, the music of the film predominantly features Wagner's prelude to the opera Tristan und Isolde. Embedded in the beautiful yet complicated melody is a sense of grief and sorrow. The passionate tunes arouse and stir emotions, resembling much of that in an opera.
Melancholia is probably not suitable for those who are seeking after cheerful and lightsome comedies, but for those who are up for something that provokes a heartfelt sympathy, this story comes with a powerful factor.