Oh God, I just finished this and now I need to go for a run or have a serious cold shower. I'm tense as fuck.
things never go according to plan, guns rarely hit right where you're trying to aim them, injuries actually affect a person's ability to keep doing what they're doing. There's no poetry to violence in Saulnier's world; his violence is the equivalent of a dirty joke scratched into the wall of a rest stop toilet.
Where chaos is like a cancer metastasizing all over the characters' plans, and everything they do to try and cut it out just creates a fresh gaping wound.
I feel these two quotes are spot on, polka. The violence is unromantic and horrifying, so we know what the stakes are, and the constant chaos makes it feel like it really could happen at any time. It makes it known early on that anyone can get hurt in serious ways.
The film expertly shows chaos arising from so many movable, unpredictable parts, but there's also an immense, balletic joy coming from the very precise arrangement of the parts. The chaos here in many ways doesn't feel chaotic. Visually, it's extremely clear, with precise cinematic layouts and uses of space. We know where everything is at all times. It's rare that we don't know where characters and objects are, and that the chaos arises from that, but more that we see everything clearly laid out
, know what the stakes are (it gun is reached, flesh will blow), and then a whole new, equally clear
situation arises just as we thought we had a grasp on the preceding one. This happens at a furious pace and the result seems like chaos, becomes a clear cinematic impression of chaos.
I haven't been this tense watching a film in a long time, but the tension is ultimately all mechanics, all roller-coaster and little heart, as the lack of real emotion about having all your friends die around you, and the ending joke, makes pretty clear.