I am often very hungry. I often deal with this existential crisis by eating something, and don’t give me any grief when I tell you what I eat tends to be biscuits.
But what’s really important here, and what should set your mind at rest, is that eating human flesh has never occurred to me as a solution to my
ravenous hunger. For if it did I would either be locked up in the loony bin or heralded as the worlds solution for an unchecked and out of control population.
Rather than either of these things happening, Cannibal presents a story of dysfunctional love. Bummer right!? You came here looking for a saucy minx chowing down on man-flesh! What’s all this talk of love! Well I must confess dear reader, this was my take on events, and judging by the bemused faces of my fellow viewers, theirs too.
So what I’m left with is an agoraphobic golfer trying to figure out how to go steady with a man muncher.
The film is helpfully split into two acts:
The film then proceeds to unhelpfully present both of these acts without engaging the audience.
Max is the emotional core of the film. He has run away from his past and is living an isolated existence with only a golf club for company. We are supposed to sympathise with him. I don’t like golf so found this difficult. But is his meagre existence really motivation enough to want to start a relationship with someone who he could find, upon waking from a pleasant slumber, gnawing on his shin bone? Apparently so.
Then gypsies show up! No one likes gypsies! They are evil conniving little buggers.
They kidnap the good lady cannibal and make the film go black and white! Max understands that he must face his past and sacrifice his colour by entering this new world to rescue his carnivorous companion.
I don’t like using the term ‘arty’ when regaling you with these poetic reviews, but here it is: this film struck me a being a bit arty. A profound statement indeed. And you’re surely making a rod for your own back by calling your film Cannibal, having a suitably gruesome poster and topping it all off with
a bloody trailer none of which presents an accurate picture of what the film is actually like.
Cannibal is quite a pedestrian affair. It’s slow and moody, the first act concentrating on the main two characters and their bizarre relationship. The second act shifts to focus solely on Max as he responds to the actions of those devious gypsies. You may also be shocked to know that scenes of man-eating are few and far between seemingly only used to remind you of what the film was supposed to be about before it got bogged down in romance.
My mum used to tell me when I made a crude face that if the wind changed I would stay like that. If the wind had indeed changed while I was watching Cannibal I would have the permanent stain of ‘eh?’ etched on my face.