July 31, 2014

[Film] Borgman

Borgman is a homeless man who enters the lives of an upper-class family and very fast manages to destroy their perfect universe.

It’s an intriguing and sadistic movie, with a very high psychological approach. The story made me shiver, be scared and sometimes even terrified about the fact that a human mind can so easily control the minds of others, by giving them directions and making them take actions they would normally, under no circumstances, take.

A group of locals hunt the homeless man Camiel out from one of the underground huts in the woods where he and several others of his kind hide. He manages to escape and then goes from house to house asking to come in and bathe but is turned away. When he comes to the van Schendel house and claims to know the wife Marina, saying that she was his nurse and tended him, the husband Richard gets furious and beats him with a stick. Marina later finds Camiel hiding in the shed. Having sympathy for him because of the way her husband treated him, she lets him stay, bringing food and sneaking him into the house for a bath. She soon becomes attached to him. He says he wishes he could come and sit at the table with them. He and his friends hatch a plan where they kill the gardener and his wife. A cleaned up and unrecognizable Camiel then applies for the job and gets it. He states that he could conduct a better landscaping operation if he moved in and so Richard offers him the guest bedroom, while his two friends move into the shed. Camiel and his friends then start taking over and eliminating members of the household.

We watch with increasing bizarreness as the gardener and friends slowly take over the household, casually seducing the nanny, poisoning the kids, provoking the wife to hate her husband and then begging Borgman to kill him.

The movie is somehow on the edge of fantastic and by the end of it, there are still lots of questions that remain without an answer. Who or what the gardeners are and why they came. Why are they all marked. How does Borgman manage to insert dreams into Marina’s head, always doing so while crouched naked on the end of her bed, which inspire her to violent feelings against her husband?

Everything is so cryptically and bizarre, that for some movie critics this seems to be some sort of black humor. Many reviews I read tend to go in the direction that this would be some sort of comedy, but still, after watching the movie, I can say that I didn’t even smile, not to mention laugh, not even once.

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