Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is no easy film and certainly not a kind of film which one can comprehend fully in a single viewing. Luis Bunuel’s ‘The Exterminating Angel’ is almost challenging film and connotative text loaded with metaphoric and surreal layers of satire that boiling up multiple interpretations from its viewers. And still nobody fathom it hundred percent except its maker-the Master Bunuel himself who gave the clear clue to audience before the beginning of the film- “The best explanation of this film is that, from the standpoint of pure reason, there is no explanation.”

As film opens we see the sophisticated group of men arrives to mansion where they’re invited for dinner party. At the beginning of the party the servants escape for no apparent reason leaving only the head servant to serve the guests.The host couple manage to keep the party engaging and soon the party is over. But quite surprisingly none of the guests turned out of the mansion. The guests keep talking about leaving the mansion but nobody is able to move outside for days and nights. Confused hosts push their hospitality further without food and water. They’re the men trapped in a strange and queer self afflicted prison of inertia. “Only miracle will get us out”, said the one, “…unless everyone in city died’, said another. And we witness their irrational behavior and instincts running free in this stuck up situation showing us their true color of animalistic behavior under their sophisticated social disguise. They are fighting for a drinking water, eating paper, and dwelling in incest, witnessing nightmarish hallucinations and a lot of unimaginable chaos all from Bunuel’s mind.

There’s another absurd thing occurring outside the mansion. Just like insiders, not a single man makes it to move inside the house, as if some ominous thing cursed them! Bunuel has clearly drawn a demarcating line between the class of bourgeoisie and proletariat, each unwilling to cross their own world. There are many puzzling scenes that fit under the category of the unexplainable aspects of life and human behavior. The guests fighting desperately to fill glass of water through one of the pipes on the wall draws clue to us. We see lot of symbolic references in forms of sheep and a bear roaming freely in house and the last frame where sheep are again moving towards the church amid the chaos on street.

One of the radical Bunuel film of all-time.

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