NYMPH()MANIAC – VOLUME 2
- Directed by: Lars Von Trier
- With: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Willem Dafoe, Stacy Martin
- 120 Minutes
Warning: This review contains several spoilers needed to explain my opinion regarding the movie.
After a surprisingly great first volume, I was too excited for volume 2 which ended up increasing my expectations. The second volume it’s a lot sadder and messed up when compared with the first one. Without being capable to feel any sexual excitement, Joe starts to fall into the middle of a spiral of despair, fear and sadness. After getting pregnant by Jerôme, she decides to experiment some new things in order to satisfy herself. In her journey for satisfaction, we watch some curious events such as two guys arguing in a middle of sex scene in a foreign language about who should fuck Joe’s ass, accordingly with her version of the events (this scene in particular was really funny), But even though it has some funny moments, “NYMPH()MANIAC-VOLUME 2” is really difficult to watch. While the first one was a rollercoaster of mixed feelings, this one was like a free fall into a pit of despair. After showing a bit of Joe’s connection with her son and Jerôme, time goes by a lot faster and a couple of years later, Joe (now interpreted by Charlotte Gainsbourg) starts to feel the need to experiment more violent things.
She meets a really creepy guy named K who likes to hurt women and who apparently has some frequent costumers. Instead of having sex with him, she is exposed to severe punishments that are really hard to watch and I’ve to confess that in those sequences I couldn’t focus my eyes on the screen for more than just a couple of seconds. Continuing the same structure of the first volume, this one was also divided into several chapters:
- The first two chapters, The Eastern and the Western Church (The Silent Duck) and The Dangerous Men, are about Joe’s journey into a world of discovery and harassment. The scenes described earlier are all from these chapters filled with a completely new atmosphere that looked a bit like some of his previous works.
- The other two chapters named The Mirror and The Gun are about the events that occurred a couple of years later. Joe decides to cure herself from her addiction and after joining a Support Group she decides to get a new job with the help of L (interpreted by Willem Dafoe). As her superior, L teaches her how she could use her experience with sex and men in order to get the job done and he suggests her that she should find an “apprentice” (someone who could help her out).
Joe’s “apprentice”, P, is a young girl that relates really quickly with her and who has some weird moments that looked a bit awkward since we’re talking about a mother/daughter relationship type. After realizing that one of her jobs is to pressure Jerôme, Joe decides to give P permission to realize her first solo job. With the months passing, Joe starts suspecting P’s absence around the house and then she finds out that her “apprentice” was having an affair with the man she “loved” the most.
After running away from home, Joe tries to find herself and while walking in the same alley where she was found by Selingman she faces Jerôme and P making out and tries to murder him. After failing to shoot she gets hurt by Jerôme and after watching him having s** with P in the middle of the alley (as a connection with the day she decided to lose her virginity with Jerôme) she gets pis**d in the face by P. Joe keeps still in the ground, a bit unconscious, until Selingman finds her.
The scenes with K were, as I said earlier, almost impossible to watch since the aggressions are shown in a detailed way but there were also other things that made it a lot more hard to watch (when compared with the first volume). The pis**ng scene was really weird but it kind of represented the fall of her dignity. The relationship between Joe and P was also a bit awkward since at the beginning she is just trying to be a bit like her mother but then P starts to kiss her and do some really messed up things (considering their relationship status). The pedophile scene was a bit shocking and the talk between her and Selingman about if there was forgiveness in pedophilia was a bit complex and controversial. Some of the dark comedy aspects that made the first volume great are still present and I have to congratulate Von Trier for the “Antichrist” reference which was really funny (a two year old boy escaping his bed and running towards the balcony with the background music that was also playing in the prologue of “Antichrist” ).
Analyzing both volumes as a whole, I was definitely not prepared for this funny version of Lars Von Trier. It was a great surprise and it made the movie a lot more entertaining. The mathematical connections and the historical aspects that are shown in the movie made it a lot more interesting and for those who just think that this is “crappy” porn I have to tell you that you’re wrong. There is substance in this movie and even though I’m not a fan of Charlotte Gainsbourg character I have to admit that she has done a really great job. This volume two was strong and really dramatic but even with the messed up scenes, the movie is still capable of provide solid entertainment with the style and irreverence that the world is used to from the earlier works by Lars Von Trier.
A shockingly “funny” ending that was a nasty but also great way to finish Joe’s story. Only made for those who have strong stomachs and are prepared to bare a new kind of evil, “Nymph()maniac-Volume 2” follows with success the footsteps left by its predecessor and even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first one, it was still an interesting movie that needs to be watched if you’re considering in travelling into the world of a sex addict.