|Writers:||Andrzej Zulawski and Frederic Tuten|
|Starring:||Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, and Margit Carstensen.|
|The Plot: Mark (Sam Neil) is a loving husband and father who is recently returning from his work abroad. Apparently, though it isn’t full explained, Mark is an agent of some sort and regularly goes on espionage missions. When he returns home, his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) demands a divorce. She won’t explain to him why she is seeking this divorce, but Mark suspects that perhaps she has found another man. Mark turns over both his apartment as well as custody of their young son, Bob, over to Anna, and he begins to let his failed relationship control his life. When he decides to visit the apartment on a spur-of-the-moment whim, Mark finds Bob living by himself in a very disheveled manner. As Mark investigates, he discovers that Anna does indeed have another man. A man named Heinrich (Heinz Bennent). With this bit of information, Mark becomes less and less grounded in reality. As he obsesses over his wife, he comes to find out that she has numerous other secrets hidden. Dark secrets.|
The acting is on a different level of peculiar than even I am accustomed to, which is an odd thing to say about a film that is generally regarded for its outstanding performances. The two leads were nominated for several awards within various film competitions, so who am I to call them “peculiar?” I am not saying that these are bad performances from a technical perspective, only that they are exceptionally strange. For a film this bizarre, I suppose having off-kilter performances should be expected, but the pitch is so ridiculously high from the very start of the movie that it nearly seems delirious. When I use the word “bizarre,” it is only due to the fact that this film has nearly no true comparison in terms of what its performers try to achieve. The overacting nature of these characters may be excused due to their highly unstable mental state, one that obviously stems from an oncoming relationship-implosion, but from the very first few scenes onward these characters are either in a fervent state of mental ecstasy or they are in a fully destructive rage-filled bout of paranoia. Ultimately, it seems that Possession has little to do with real human characters, but instead these are figures for the director to make a point about the nature of human relations and interactions. Will I stand and say that I understand every nuance of the film? Not at all. A book could certainly be written about this single film, and it likely already has been. However, even without understanding every piece of subtext, I still respect the film for its daring peculiarity.