Calvaire (2004)

Calvaire (2004) movie poster

director Fabrice Du Welz
viewed: 02/05/2017

Who knew that you could experience Deliverance in Belgium? I guess there are backwoods rednecks with weird proclivities everywhere.

I’ve had Calvaire in my film queue since it came out, now more than a decade ago. It’s not exactly Deliverance, to be fair. But small-time entertainer Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas) finds his equivalent when he gets lost in the woods. He finds a lonely kook named Paul Bartel (Jackie Berroyer) who sees in Stevens, the reincarnation of his lost wife and sets about forcing that into reality.

The woods are full of the mentally-diminished and zoophiliacs. Stevens’s “ordeal” is to somehow escape this insanity.

It’s well-produced and nicely filmed. If the comic aspect of it was turned up a notch, it might feel almost Australian (Australians pretty much love their crazy boondock-dwellers; they certainly find them amusing.) Instead, it hews to the almost lugubrious and melancholy, possibly empathizing with the adbductors and rapists.

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