Title: “The Broken Circle Breakdown”
Director: Felix Van Groeningen
Writers: Carl Joos, Felix Van Groeningen
Starring: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Elise and Didier fall in love, despite the fact that they couldn’t be more different. They are brought together through their love of bluegrass music, and they quickly move in, get married, and have a child together. But their world is shattered when their child is diagnosed with aggressive cancer.
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” is dramatic and moving. The story is very sad, and you should be prepared to feel depressed at the end of this movie. This is not an uplifting movie or feelgood in any way. But it is powerful, with moving performances and a touching subject, contrasted with the constant presence of bluegrass music.
The movie has a single and obvious major problem that runs throughout the movie: The editing is atrocious! The film jumps around in time so much that it makes it difficult to figure out where you are in the story. This affects the story immensely as the audience is left spending more time trying to figure out when they are as opposed to the story itself. I’ve heard films described as being unable to find their center. The editing feels like the film is a spinning top and the editor keeps touching and adding weight to various parts, causing it to wobble over and over again and never gives it a chance to stabilize. Also, at one point Didier winds up having a major public breakdown that seems out of place and involves political ranting when there were no politics involved throughout the course of the movie. It felt shoehorned in and detracted from the film’s impact.
This is a real shame. Other than the terrible editing, this is a really strong and emotional movie. It’s not meant to be feelgood. It’s supposed to be somewhat depressing, and it does that job very well. The performances are excellent and moving. But the editing is so distracting that the movie falls apart from forcing the audience to pay more attention to what point they are in the story than on the story itself.
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.