This will be a very brief reflection on the film. I'd like to write more but am spread quite thin this week. In the interest of keeping the momentum of my blogs going, I write this short entrant into the ongoing filmic series Man on Film. You can feel free to picture me as Damon Wayans while you read this...
Waltz with Bashir was visually compelling and stimulating. The animation was so engrossing that numerous times throughout the film it would occur to me that I had completely neglected to read the dialogue for at least the 30 seconds before the realization.
The film is an Israeli soldier's recounting of his quest to recover his memories of the first Lebanon War and the atrocities of the massacres in West Beirut. Told via animation, it is still the animation of the writer/director/star so it is still a quasi-documentary--an odd combination to be sure. The animation is great. The quest to recover the lost memories is for the most part interesting, especially as the puzzle of what actually happened in the war comes into picture more clearly.
Perhaps the aspect of the film that stands out the most is the Max Richter score which at times propels the film forward with its own momentum. His work with Ari Forman on this film certainly piques my interest insofar as Richter's solo work is concerned.
Even if the music for the film borders on scene-stealing, the film is still moving. If you are not moved to revulsion as the archived news footage is introduced at the film's conclusion, you are without a soul. In that moment, the film succeeds in levelling the audience with deft ferocity.
Here is the trailer: