HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Memorable Central Character Drives Depressing ‘Bullhead’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The central character in the Oscar-nominated “Bullhead” is a force of nature not unlike Jake La Motta in Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” or the title character in Refn’s “Bronson.” He is less human than hormone as he injects himself with steroids like a bull being fattened to make better steaks. And his story is clearly one that it is going to end tragically. This dark, vicious film gets a bit muddled at times but the strength of its lead performance and a strong visual palette make it a stark but worthwhile trip.

Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) is introduced threatening a man. He’s an enforcer, the kind of guy who can put those he speaks to on edge just by his very presence. He’s hulking, lurching, and his eyes always look partially closed. He also seems like a shell of a man, pure testosterone with less and less humanity with every injection into his ass or pill down his gullet. But there are glimpses, mostly through Schoenaerts’ excellent performance, of the human under the bull-like exterior.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Bullhead” in our reviews section.

Jacky works in a shady industry – illegal trafficking of hormones for beef production. After a police officer investigating the unusual criminal industry is shot, an informer named Diederik Maes (Jeroen Perceval) comes back into Jacky’s life. It’s here where we learn why Jacky is the way he is through a series of flashbacks. Twenty years ago, Jacky and Diederik were friends. They happened upon a pretty girl in the neighborhood the way that boys do when the girl’s brother grabbed young, wide-eyed, sweet-looking Jacky and forever mutilated him by pounding his testicles with rocks. For the rest of his life, Jacky would be forced to take the hormones and steroids to try to make him feel like a man. And Diederik couldn’t tell the truth about the assault because of the power of the criminal’s father. Their friendship was shattered.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Bullhead” review.

“Bullhead” stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, and Jeanne Dandoy. It was written and directed by Michael Roskam. It was released in Chicago on March 2nd, 2012.

Bullhead
Bullhead
Photo credit: Drafthouse Films

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
98 - = 22
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker