Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (2012) has outranked all of the movies we’ve seen in class with regard to being the weirdest. The main character of the film, Oscar has assignments with a driver of his limousine, Celine. Without direction or any given context as to why it was happening, he goes around the city to play different roles. In contrast to Trier and Leth’s The Five Obstructions (2003), each of the tasks given to the main character were definitely not related to one another and even seemed to serve no purpose at certain times.
After a very confusing beginning scene of the film, I was finally ready to begin to comprehend the rest of the movies. Oscar, the main character, appeared to be a businessman that had many appointments to accomplish. The film begins to become confusing in scenes, such as when he had to dress up as an actual old female beggar, and the time when he appeared to be a naked freak to the unbothered character of Eva Mendes. These definitely confused me when it came to searching for the film’s essence and direction. After a while, you begin to realize that Oscar was actually an actor and the scene of him appearing to be a businessman was just as fake as all those other roles that he’s played. Work doesn’t seem to end for Oscar, as he continues to play a certain role until the following day.
I felt that the movie was actually teasing the audience that were in search for the “true Oscar” and who he really was. In between appointments, we can try to read his actions, but you’ll definitely not fully understand, who he is throughout the entirety of the film. You couldn’t really tell which parts of the film outside the limousine showed the actual side of Oscar. Some roles tend to fool you into thinking that it was his actual life, such as when he was with a little girl that appeared to be his daughter, or when he met with an old friend at the rooftop of a building.
The movie seemed like its purpose was to truly confuse and disturb its audience. Creating an illusion of a lack of purpose in the film. As a member of the audience, you look for the film’s purpose and search to answer the question as to why the character was doing what he was doing. I was awaiting the end of the film, hoping that it would finally reveal the reasons behind all of these. The movie ends with talking limos of the other actors in the city. This annoyed me even more as I had to think of reasons with regard to that scene too.
A week after watching the film, I begin to wonder if the purposelessness of certain scenes could be related to our own lives. Sometimes we act like robots, doing what we do for something we feel serves no purpose at all. Oscar is confronted by his superior asking him why he continued to do what he was doing. Oscar expresses that he continues to do what he does because he remembers why he started. If there’s any lesson that I personally learned in the movie it would be to remember that regardless if you feel like what you’re doing serves no purpose, recall why you were driven to do it in the first place.
Despite the confusion and headaches the film offered, the film viewing experience was actually still quite enjoyable, I continue to look forward to the rest of the films that the course has in store for us.