With a film like the Wall, I think you can review it with a little eccentric
ity, because the piece itself tells a story the way most films cannot, with little dialogue, scenes that run into to one another and blend
, and actors that are in ways simply vehicles for the emotion they are expressing through the music. It's almost amusing in parts because of the parody and outrageousness of the main actor's actions.
Some of the best scenes in the movie are animated, for in these sections there is seldom any question what the images convey, how national flag becomes a red cross that bleeds into a storm drain. Naked figures with gas masks for faces scurry from gunfire. Red and black hammers marching like Nazi soldiers. A dove turning into a black eagle, a war plane. Planes become the white crosses of dead soldiers. A mother's arms holding her infant son become a brick wall. A wall running along an open field, dividing people and flowers and churches, a living thing. I won't even go into the flower scenes.
Most artsy movies, like Kubrick's films perhaps, try too hard to be surreal, thinking that because they are concept films that the viewer has to be confused in order to be taken off guard. Not so in this case. I don't think there is much ambiguity in the depictions of what Pink has gone through. His father is killed in a war when he is a baby and he's raised by his mother, who protects and coddles him, shielding him from the world. His interest in poetry gets mockery and shame from his classmates and teachers. He is already well designed to feel alone in the world. He becomes a star and tries to fall in love, but his life lessons of isolation push her away. At some point he finds himself in a hotel room during a tour, and this is the pivotal point of the movie. From here, he thinks back over his entire life and the unknown life of his father that he never knew. He seems to have nothing but anger, loneliness and regret. He has no where to go but down.
The movie takes you further than you have likely gone yourself. While most people can sympthize with depression (some cases that span entire lives), not many of us can relate to madness in the sense that we have crossed over the breaking point of sanity and are simply a useless shell of our former selves. The Wall projects one way we would have turned out if we hadn't, at some point, snapped out of our bubble. I look at the scenes displayed before me and could see myself, through certain similar outcomes, ending up much like Pink, had I not decided that being happy and breaking a silence of adolescent depression was more important than dying in the obsession of my previous losses and shortcomings. The movie depicts when the fight or flight instinct fails.
My ex couldn't watch this movie, refused to watch it, because it's depictions of divorce and supposed adultery had brought back images of his parents' temporary separation due to an affair. I tried to get my boyfriend to watch it, but he said he wasn't in the mood for a mind fuck. I know what he means. When I watched it this time, I sat out on my balcony afterward, smoking and staring out a silent neighborhood street. And I could see how so many of us can be close to the edge, all at the same time.