Thanatos Drunk Film Analysis

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In the usual, but artful style of the archetype art-house Taiwanese film, as filmmakers like Tsai Ming Liang, Hou Hsiao Hsen and Edward Yang established it, Thanatos, Drunk tells the dramatic story of three men and the role that alcohol and death (thanatos is the Greek word for death) play in their lives. Rat is a constantly drunk youth who makes a living by selling vegetables at the local market and petty crime. Eventually he meets a young mute prostitute and saves her from a violent client. His flat mate, Shuo, who Rat idolizes, is a gigolo. He also has a relationship with Rat's cousin, Da Xiong. Rat's elder brother, who is gay, has recently returned from the United States, after breaking up with his boyfriend and gets a job in film production. After a while though, he finds himself attracted to Shuo and flirts with him, an act that enrages Da Xiong. Eventually, the…show more content…
There is a very beautiful shot presented a number of times in the film, in a small field leading to a lake, where some skyscrapers are shown in the far distance, in a clear notion of how far the protagonists' lives lie from the "high-class" part of the city. A large part of Rat's scenes occur on rooftops, but even then, there are no panoramic views, with the camera instead focusing very near the protagonists, heightening the sense the film wants to give, that there is no escape. The two of them also use some shots with handheld camera and there are moments where the camera lingers, not focusing on something, both of which I found annoying. Thanatos, Drunk is an interesting film that deserves a look for the depiction of the life of the poor in Taipei although it lacks quality in terms of plot and character
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