Eccentric or Simply Perfect?: Reflections on Holy Motors

If you would ask me what’s the weirdest film I have ever watched, I would say Persona by Ingmar Bergman. But then we’re shown with Holy Motors by Leos Carax which features very different stories, all of which are encapsulated in a bigger story that is as mysterious as the ones we’re shown. It is both confusing and stressful to watch because you’ll never know what to expect after the character Oscar finishes one of his assignments. It goes light at first, but each tasks become more difficult as Oscar is faced with many dilemmas including killing and getting killed. Yet, it is also fantastic how after all his struggles in each dramatic task, you see him alive and wanting to do more.

Despite it’s very eccentric scenes, one thing that really kept me interested was how the actor for Oscar was able to act so perfectly, even though as if each scene were filmed for different movies. It was thrilling to see what the actor has to offer because each task he had to accomplish was weirder than the last. For a man who could enact a scene so dramatic like the scene when he was on his deathbed and then switch to an erratic leprechaun who was borderline cannibalistic-slash-herbivore, all I could say is that he is by far one of the best actors I have ever seen. It is also perfect because it was as if he was playing his own life as Oscar, except it was in a more imaginary alternate universe where cars discuss about the philosophy of their existence. It is through this that I saw the dedication necessary to be able to execute such scenes, and the film never fails to show this. Although the scenes during his breaks in the car were mundane compared to when Oscar is in action, these scenes for me were the strongest, because it is where we see the real Oscar. It is where we see him transform, and in this transformation, he becomes so alluring because it is as if he’s still acting even when he is at his most vulnerable. Such scenes for me were the most dramatic because it is here when we try to figure out what is actually Oscar’s life and why he is doing such things.

One thing is certain in this film, it is the dedication necessary to practice the art of acting. Although of course, it seems that this film is on overdrive because the dedication shown is to the death. But, Oscar, for some mystical reason, cannot seem to die even after being shot when he attacks a man who looks exactly like him. I think this could indicate that despite the taxing job, actors live in through it. Their love for the art is what makes them continue, even if the job gets harder and more haunting. That being said, the passion seen in Holy Motors as expressed by its main protagonist is what made me love the film. Despite his odd and almost horrifying scenes, you can’t help but wonder, what is he going to do next?

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