‘Careful’ is set in a rural mountain village, ‘Tolzbad’. Tolzbad is under constant threat from avalanches, forcing the villagers to keep noise to a minimum. You would expect that growing up with such a burden would leave its mark in the souls of the villagers, and oh boy, it does.
Tolzbad’s inhabitants are perfect showcases of Freudian deviations. Whatever can go wrong in the microcosm of a family, it is bound to happen in Tolzbad. Keeping silent all the time, the villagers’ minds are crawling with suppressed desires, innuendoes, and dysfunctional family relations.
If you haven’t stumbled upon the Canadian director Guy Maddin, you better take a seat. Any of his films is a breathtaking experience, and entirely the opposite of Hollywood’s cookie cutter blockbusters. While such a verdict usually implies ‘difficult to watch’ – read: excrutiatingly boring to watch weirdness – ‘Careful’ is far from it.
In fact, it doesn’t get much more entertaining than this. ‘Careful’ delivers on multiple levels: The visuals are a perfect reenactement of – especially German – films from the silent movie era, copying the style of Fritz Lang and Leni Riefenstahl. They are very fitting to the clicheed Tolzbad, seemingly the protoype of a down-to-earth alpine village, where so much goes awry behind closed doors.
The story itself isn’t overly complicated or breathtaking, but it is delivered with so much punch and humor that it becomes a hillarious rollercoaster ride through the human subconciousness.
Careful is about the essence of cinema, storytelling that would not work without the visuals, a perfect amalgamation of image, sound and script. Absolutely watchable, absolutely recommended.