THE NUN (La religieuse) DVD (2013)
SYNOPSIS: Sent to a convent against will, Suzanne, a young nun finds herself taunted by her fellow Sisters and subjected to sadistic punishments after breaking her vows. Taken in by a kindly Mother Superior, she soon finds that her affection comes at a price, but despite her suffering, Suzanne refuses to accept her fate and her desire for freedom never diminishes.
Through the eyes of Suzanne Simonin (Pauline Etienne), The Nun takes a controversial peek into the world of Catholicism in the olden days specifically France.
Simonin is a 17-year-old teen being forced by her mother to be ordained as a nun to “expatiate” the sins of her family. We must say it’s actually a pretty convenient excuse to get rid of a family member just to lighten the financial burden of the household. But in actual fact, Simonin is an illegitimate daughter as a result of an affair committed by her mother. For whatever reason, the cover up is essential thus Simonin is reluctantly sent to a nunnery but the gutsy young lady refuses to give up hope to leave the place.
Guillaume Nicloux’s The Nun is a relatively affecting and easy to follow arthouse drama. Beneath lies a message that religion and faith regardless of their form doesn’t constitute a person. Simonin’s refusal to accept the Order doesn’t qualify her as a bad person. Her faith in God lies in her heart pure and simple. Similarly those who accept it are devils in disguise as Simonin suffered unbelievably pain and torture under Sister Christine (Louise Bourgoin), the authoritarianand nasty in-charge who replaced the previous kind-hearted head Mother.
If being treated as a POW is not atrocious enough for her rebelliousness, Simonin continues her streak of bad luck when she encounters a loony, sex-craving Mother St-Eutrope (Isabelle Huppert) at the next convent. You can say she has her own unique way to welcome a new girl. The tone of the movie changes from all seriousness to dark comedic in the last act but yet the message remains stoic.
The production design on the whole is handsome, the costumes well designed and the cinematography by Yves Cape conveys a consistence mood of helplessness. Belgian actress Pauline Etienne basically carries the entire drama with full aplomb and certainly a delight to watch. Recommended.
The DVD comes with a serviceable French audio track and the visual passable.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee