The Phantom of Liberty

The Phantom of Liberty ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

While the Le fantôme de la liberté is an absurdist comedy that shines a light on the unique social norms that we expect to see in society and flips those expectations on its head, what is most interesting is how it changes the expectations of film narrative.  Le fantôme de la liberté utilizes alternative narrative forms such as a lack of a protagonist, loosely connected stories, while for the most part avoiding all dramatic events to a comedic degree. The structure of the film is layered through a vignette (short story) style from the perspective of multiple loosely connected characters. Each story within the film relays a common theme of playing with common societal morals, such as a nephew and an aunt having an incestuous relationship, pooping at a dinner table, and calamite monks gambling and smoking the night away. It Is refreshing to see a lack of an active protagonist within the film. The main characters that carry the weight of the film have no agency and will seek to remove themselves from any problematic situation within the film. A great example is when all the characters at the hotel see a man being spanked with a flail and they just decide to leave with little to no reaction. It’s an enjoyable film that constantly subverts the expectations of a film viewer, by taking away any logic within itself and breaking the expectations of structure.

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