Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film The Neon Demon hit theaters last weekend and it’s a made a very fine line between audiences. They either love it or hate it. I will admit this film is not for everyone, but it still has a lot to offer with or without an open mind. What I mean by that is it doesn’t take a lot to appreciate The Neon Demon overall. Despite the split reviews and crowds that disliked the film, I loved it!
The first thing that gave me a standing ovation in my pants was the visual aesthetics of the film. If you know the work of NWR then you are aware of his use of vibrant colors, depth and composition to create some awe inspiring shots. Each shot tells an intricate story or evokes a very subtle emotion. It’s this factor that I believe makes the movie so special. It’s not your typical Hollywood movie that has characters regurgitating lines in front of the camera with boring lighting. Every inch of the frame adds something to the story or tone. Even the camera movement brings the audience in closer to the circle of action, allowing us to take in the ambience.
The Neon Demon kills it when it comes to the musical composition of the film with Cliff Martinez in the drivers seat. The music is carefully meshed with the visuals of the film to create a stimulating experience. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand every time a new sequence was introduced with a new beat or melody. A few days after watching the film, all I wanted to do was experience those scenes again. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat, reliving some of the scenes.
The last element I loved about this film was the underlying themes and conflicts that were expressed. The film had a reoccurring theme which was that beauty in today’s world is a growing currency. Elle Fanning’s character is thrust into the world of Fashion because of her natural beauty that is lustfully admired by the people around her. Her beauty is the vessel that drags her through a journey filled with vanity, betrayal and horror.
I say go watch this film if you’re looking for something different. Like I said, it’s not for everyone but it does offer up something new. New is good since Hollywood movies are obsessed with sequels and remakes.