17 Nov 2009

Film: The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover

I hated it, everything was disgusting. The scenes, the effect of lightning, main character . it was so unpleasant, that I even found myself in regret having to experience this. It was only after a while, I came to realise, it was made so intentionally . To raise feelings of disgust, and ugliness.

The scenes and the lightning truly were irritating.

People faces were dark (especially at the beginning); we only could see their silluetes, so there was constant lack of information, always this feeling of “come ooon, show them” . And strong colors, almost as if I was watching a cartoon – very blocky, and in restricted areas ( the interior of the truck, table surface.

The constantly opposing colors were uncomfortable to watch (like in the green kitchen tables were bright Orange-red color).

I tried to speculate, why the rooms were in the particular colors.

Green for the kitchen. I think, all the film is made to look ugly and disgusting, so the kitchen was in green. The food than reflected „sick“colors, appeared unhealthy, unattractive and definitely left no feeling of „mm, yummy „ . ( I read somewhere, that under the red/ orange food does look more delicious)

White for bathroom. White is quit calm color, relieving silent and clean. Maybe it’s because bathrooms are supposed to be a place of cleanliness. I guess, for Georgina (the main character) it was the place where she could rest a bit from the “almighty” husband and his crew at least for a moment.

Red for the restaurant. I think restaurant was where the “devil” really was prevailing in his all disgust. SO the restaurant parallels the Hell, devil’s kingdom. The red color also gave lots of red tones on their faces, what also helped to create “devil looks” or the feeling of.. fleshy and.. swollen .

I enjoyed the metaphor, when Georgina made Albert to eat her lover to call him cannibal.

The ending was unexpected and this film – something never experienced before in a good way.


  1. Oh dear! :-(

    It is a very STRONG film - and purposefully so - not for the faint hearted and, of course, a big contrast to the pastel shades and whimsy of Edward Scissorhands! (I like to mix things up for my first years!). Not an 'enjoyable' film - but visually very rich - and a clear example of the 'spaces' driving the themes of the narrative (decadence, gluttony etc.). If you want to contextualise the film further, check out the genre of the Jacobean Revenge Tragedies - famously 'The Revenger's Tragedy' and The Duchess of Malfi - both plays are characterised by their violence and sexual content!

  2. Maybe you havent seen my further response, I enjoyed thew scenes during the whole film :) somethin very unusual, fantastic and imaginary, what is very important to me :)
    And about the film in overall, the ending changed the whole perception :) It was unexpected, interesting and something what made the whole "suffering" worth of it :)
    It definetely left a mark, when thinking how the lightning can be used, even a stronger mark than Doctor Caligari with it's painted lights. At the very end I actually felt even sad that I saw this film so late :) It really was fascinating.