Fantasia CR: Strange Circus
Fantasia describes Strange Circus as, “challenging”, “bizarre” and “adventurous” – all words you politely use when a film doesn’t quite work.
Strange Circus is Japanese director Sion Sono’s underwhelming follow up to last year’s Suicide Club, which was a real achievement as an exploitive take on Japan’s problems with teenage suicide.
At the heart of Strange Circus is an incestuous father/mother/daughter family triangle. As the film progresses, the mirage of reality begins to erode and an entirely new set of circumstances gives rise to uncomfortable questions about what is real and what isn’t.
Fantasia describes Strange Circus as, “challenging”, “bizarre” and “adventurous” – all words you politely use when a film doesn’t quite work. To be sure, the film has it’s share of perverse subject matter (a Fantasia staple) and at least one scene that will make you squirm, but there’s just nothing here that feels particularly original.
Lacking the topicality that gave Suicide Club an added dimension, Strange Circus just feels empty and tedious. If you’re simply looking for something off the beaten path, this film may fit the bill but you may also be asking yourself what the point was.