BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003517Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
DVD disk
Jun 16, 2006 By: Sturdy
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things order
Director:
Asia Argento

Actors:
Asia Argento
Peter Fonda
Marilyn Manson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young boy suffers through a horrible childhood at the hands of his doped-up, crazy mother. She takes him on a long and arduous journey through a life of instability and misery.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When Ms. Argento set out to make Deceitful, she had to have known that most audiences were not comfortable with the abuse of a child. Therefore, it was her responsibility to insure that every use of child abuse served a purpose and moved the story or was important in a character’s arc. Unfortunately for her, she succeeded at telling a horrible story of child abuse, but failed miserably at giving it a point.

If you choose to watch Deceitful, then beware that you will witness horrible things happen to an innocent child that include verbal abuse, beatings and rape. You will probably find yourself waiting for the point in the movie where these things will stop and something will happen to the boy, but that point will never come. The boy falls down a tunnel of moral and physical decay with no end in sight. Essentially, the movie is pointless.

The movie is based off a book I have not read so I don’t know if it suffers from the same pitfall. Regardless, the only thing that could’ve made this movie bearable was to give it an ending. I don’t care if the boy ends up dying, or becoming President. We needed something to justify the atrocities that we have just witnessed. Also, her mental illness should’ve been disclosed in the very beginning and that could’ve been something the audience could follow and “root” for. Without it, the crimes on this little boy had no purpose other than to provide sick amusement for the adults around him.

I will say that the performances in the film were top-notch. If I have one gripe with anyone, it would be with Asia herself. As good as the Italian woman is at portraying American trash, I felt a lot of times that she was pushing for something that wasn’t there. Her directing was much better and I feel she would do well with a better story. Everyone else did well and the film was shot perfectly for what she was trying to do.
THE EXTRAS
I’ve read stuff about JT Leroy and there’s a lot of controversy around who and what he/she is. None of that was talked about in these featurettes. It would’ve been nice to have a 15 minute summary of the story of JT Leroy to clear it up.

Commentary with Asia Argento and Chris Hanley: Asia is a cool chick and she shows it in this commentary. She’s proud of her film and she goes into very vivid detail on each shot. Chris says very little and I assumed he was there to keep Asia in check. She does a lot of comparisons to the book and although that’s interesting, I would’ve liked to hear more about her interpretations of the story and why she put that on the screen.

JT Under Cover (29:03): Almost 30 minutes of footage of Asia and a he-she walking around Cannes and other festivals and parties. There’s no voice-over and the dialogue is virtually inaudible. I’m not sure what the point of this was, other than to annoy the viewer.

New York Film Premier and Party (14:14): This one is also very hard to hear because the background noises are too loud. Different people give their two cents on why the film was made, but nothing too insightful. Asia is mildly interesting here, but she’s not toning down the accent, so it’s tough to understand her.

There are also some Easter Eggs and Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
At the end of the day, this isn’t just a gross-out, shocking film. I hate to give it that much credit because I don’t think it earned it. It’s a disturbing movie with a good commentary but fails on so many levels. Think twice before making this part of your collection.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or