It’s a bold, brave film, but in the end I think it fails quite convincingly to live up to its ambitions. The stilted dialogue and overt meolodrama deflect from any sense of real horror or tension. Things appear too contrived, too over-the-top, the metaphorical evil subsumed into something more formal and predicatible than provocative or engaging. It’s a spoiled premise, a disapointing and boring film, unfortunately.
A broad resetting of Sokurov’s 1999 film Moloch, replacing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest with a castle atop a mountain in contemporary Haiti. Trading fascist Europe for a neurotic, despostic leader on a Tropical island is a bold and interesting move. The scope of the film aims for the Shakespearean, with heightened dialogue and situations, an almost court-like affair of patrons and attendants keeping the leader in check while he’s breaking down like his country surrounding him.