Dark Times In Breaking The Waves

Breaking The Waves is an independently released movie that proves the old saying that you should be careful what you wish for. It takes place in Scotland and starts off as a touching love story but slowly descends into a lurid sexually deviant movie that can be very disturbing at times. It deals with many topics but it is mostly about how extreme situations can bring out different results in different people.
Breaking The Waves is a movie written by Lars Von Trier and Peter Asmussen and directed by Lars Von Trier. It was released in the United States in 1996 and it was the film debut of Emily Watson who later became more recognized for her roles in The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers and as the female lead voice in Timothy Burton’s Corpse Bride. Lars Von Trier wrote Breaking The Waves as the first movie in a trilogy that later came to include the movies Idioterne in 1998 and finishing with Dancer In The Dark in 2000. The movie has a very grainy look to it which adds to its categorization as a noir type film and can also add a great deal of emotion to the movie as the plot falls into a web of sexual decadence and the characters begin to become more involved in their own depravity as they begin to do things that are very contrary to the characters we meet in the beginning of the movie.

Breaking The Waves is a movie about a Scottish lady named Bess that falls in love with a Danish man Jan that works on an oil rig. They begin dating and it is not long before they are married and living as a happily married couple looking towards the future. As Jan prepares to go back to work on the oil rig and leave his new wife behind for an extended period of time, his new wife Bess begins praying that when Jan returns from this tour of duty that he returns for good and that they can enjoy the rest of their lives together without Jan having to ever leave her for extended periods to work on the oil rig ever again. When Jan returns from the oil rig he does return for good and will never return to work on the oil rig again but at this point this is where the saying be careful what you wish for comes into play. Jan has broken his neck and is permanently injured in such a way that he is unable to make love to his new wife and the rest of their lives will be spent with him unable to care for himself or physically make love to his wife.

This is where Breaking The Waves takes that dark turn and it is at this point where Jan wants his wife to start having sex with other men and Bess takes on a lover. Jan wants Bess to tell him all of the details of their sexual encounters and it is not long before the entire situation begins to break Bess down and her sexual behavior becomes more and more deviant and twisted. Throughout the course of her declining morals Bess begins to believe that her increasingly deviant behavior is helping her husband to recover from his injuries and she begins to believe that the more deviant her sexual behavior becomes the more that she is being guided by God and it is God’s will that she take a dark twist to her sexual behavior and God’s work that her reward for exploring her own sexuality is that her husband is recovering from his injuries.

Breaking The Waves is a truly dark exploration of how the stress and pressure of a relationship that has experience sudden trauma can drive otherwise stable people to the brink of mental collapse. It is a very well told story and it is so well told, and so well received, that Breaking The Waves received an Oscar nomination for Emily Watson’s performance as well as nominations for over 40 other motion picture awards. Breaking The Waves did not win the Oscar for best leading actress for Emily Watson but the acclaim received by the movie and those involved in it helped to spark many careers and allowed Lars Van Trier to complete his triology.
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