Dogville is one of the ultimate feel-bad films I’ve ever watched and also an intensely challenging drama that doesn’t give a damn about your expectations. The story is about a mysterious woman named Grace who seeks refuge in a small Colorado town called Dogville to hide out from gangsters who are searching for her. The townspeople agree to take her in on the condition that she work for them such as a blind man having her describe the sunset, working in the local store, helping take care of an invalid daughter, teaching children, etc. After awhile, Grace is accepted by the townspeople, and grows to love the town itself. However, her happiness is not to last forever for free download and as the true natures of the townspeople slowly begin to emerge. It’s a harsh, emotionally-crushing film that deals with the ugliest elements of human nature through hypocrisy, lies, violence, and sexual depravity.
There will be many who will sneer at this film and call it pretentious and self-indulgent, others will be infuriated by its ugly truths and refusal to cop out (You want happy? You ain’t getting it), and others will find it to be a transfixing and challenging drama. As you can see by my rating, I fall into the last category. Dogville is a grim film, but a brilliant film from beginning to end. It’s gripping, it’s flawlessly acted, it’s emotionally devastating, and it will hit you like a kick to the ribs and gut. It’s a unique and uncompromising vision that will only have a niche following, but that’s among many reasons why I think it’s one of the best films of the century. It never takes the easy way out or provides easy answers to its characters or potential viewers – exactly what a drama should be. For that, it’s a masterpiece.