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Boxing Helena - The Impossibility of Possessing and Containing Beauty
A Frightening Glimpse into a Possessed Mind
This film is not for everyone. If you hate Roman Polanski and David Lynch, stay away from this material.
I owned this movie on tape and decided to buy the DVD -- primarily because I think it will be unobtainable in the future.
The underlying theme (as I see it) is the unsuccessful attempt of one man to capture and possess beauty -- in the form of a female form.
Men perceive beauty in various manifestations -- a colorful sunset, a field of fresh flowers, reflections on a body of water, etc. Included in this catalog is the beauty of women. Non-rationalizing men will misinterpret this attraction to beauty as a sexual magnet.
The protagonist of the film is not of this ilk. He is mild, sensitive, caring, attentive, but at the same time totally unconscious of his impossible desires to isolate beauty as if it were a statue. He does everything he can to discard the troublesome aspects to his imagination -- wherein one will read of all the horrific undertakings. But, these horrors are merely symbolic.
The thrust of the protagonist's motivations revolve around his unconscious desires to obtain and hold mastery over the essence of beauty (however truncated). He has no inkling that beauty is elusive, intangible, something that stirs the soul but cannot be subject to possession. (Spoiler) The entire events are revealed to be nothing but a dream, taking the movie out of the realm of mere horror and firmly placing it into a psychological mind-exercise.
The film is bound to be misunderstood because most viewers will not grasp the element of the male psyche as interpreting all obstacles to his longings as mere physical impediments (albeit in perhaps an overly graphic, realistic manner).
The film triple-underscores this terrible shortcoming in the male unconscious -- something that must be brought to his full awareness for the sake of any/all viable male-female relationships. Because of the inherent complexity of the subtext, the movie will probably only be appreciated by symbolists and intellectuals.