My Rating: 6/10
Synopsis: In a certain high school, the school body is unaware that a catastrophe is about to walk in its halls, leaving traces of horror and violence in its wake.
I don’t get why there’s no sense of urgency in the final act. All the characters in the movie seem to be lethargic. I read somewhere that the actors here were made to improvise on their script but it was still too dry. I’m familiar that the film cast non-professional actors, but that doesn’t mean they can get away with it – being lame and sucky, (Primer also filmed on a budget and had an unknown cast but it’s very engaging all throughout)…Elephant contains a very strong plot which is inspired by the Columbine High School Massacre back in 1999 and the style that was employed by Gus Van Sant (i.e. a general timeline shown multiple times with multiple perspectives in close-up) is reminiscent of something I watched before and I thought that was brilliant to use here. But I believe the novelty of the Columbine and Elephant being the first high-profile pic to illustrate such a crisis are the only major driving forces why it bagged the 2003 Palme d’Or in Cannes and not necessarily because it was great. I’m a little miffed too why Gus Van Sant had to include some unnecessary kissing scene between the two shooters, it didn’t make any sense. Not that I’m anti or anything, I just don’t see the point, it doesn’t add up for me (even after justifying in their lines that they haven’t kissed somebody before).
Runtime: 1hr 21min (IMDb)
Production Budget: $3 million (IMDb)