Son of Saul Review

   Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.35.19 AM A bloody, brutal, brilliant look at the life of a Sonderkommando. Lázló Nemes’s Son of Saul is a violent, tragic story that follows a man working at a concentration camp sudden attachment to a body of one of the victims of the gas chambers in Auschwitz. In probably the weirdest analogy I’ll ever use in my writing, the only thing I can compare Son of Saul to is a vaccine, it initially feels like an overflow of sickness that overtakes your being, followed by a rewarding gratification that you obtain after realizing the benefits that the vaccine brought to you. That’s exactly how I felt sitting in that dark theatre reacting to the atrocities portrayed on screen, made even more terrifying by the stylistic camera choice. The way cinematographer Máyas Erdély maneuvers his camera makes you feel as if you’re an extension of Saul, an invisible presence forced to follow him through hell. Accompanied by the choice to film in 40 mm which only focuses on things closest to it, meaning apart from Saul and people who get close to him, most of the events around him will feel like a blur, separating and alienating him as a member of the Auschwitz’s Sonderkommandos and making it feel as if he can’t properly react to the events happening around him, leaving him in sort of reactionary trance. Adjoining that with the insane sound-mixing this film contains that serves as a hard contrast to the silent nature of Saul, you have on of the most terrifying portrayals of a horrific story from the midsts of WWII. I do acknowledge this film as a brilliant piece of work, but I must admit I felt like I was drowning when confronted with the violent nature of this film on the screen and that it has taken me sometime to properly reflect on the film’s sense of being. I have an urge to see the film again to properly analyze it, but then again I feel a sense of dread whenever the title is brought up, Son of Saul serves as a violent element that will make every single one of your emotions react in the same drastic manner. In conclusion, Son of Saul is provides one with an overflow of thoughts and emotions as it radically traverses through some of the most dangerous terrain and evokes a chilling sense of traumatic horror that not even the best horror films of the last ten years have brought to the screen.

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