So I finally saw Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” the other night. Briefly, the movies tells the story of a two sisters whose constant head butting is suddenly overshadowed by a planet called Melancholia heading straight for Earth. The movie is split into two acts, Part I, entitled Justine (Kristin Dunst’s character), while Part II, Claire, named for Justine’s sister played by Charlotte Gainsborough. The movie overall was good, but took a while to reach its peak and peak my interest. While the first part moved rather slow, it contained one of the most striking parts of the whole movie: the opening sequence, which was quite simply, breathtakingly beautiful; its surrealness captivating and dynamic. The nearly 9 minute prologue (see below) shows the destruction of planet earth as impact with melancholia is realized, the few moments of panic (in the case of Claire) and tranquility (in the case of Justine) just beforehand, and the visualization of Justine’s dark and foreboding dreams. Part I is saved by good acting on the part of Dunst, who often angered me in her wedding day behavior towards her friends, family, and adorable husband (Alexander Skarsgard). We see her deteriorate in a matter of a day, which just happens to be the day of her extravagant wedding hosted by her sister and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). She becomes depressed, apathetic, and even nihilistic. This worsens over the course of part I and into part II. In Part II we really begin to see the whole picture, the theme of the movie fleshes out with the juxtapositions between Justine and Claire becoming clear. As Melancholia looms closer, predicted to either pass right by or destroy everything in sight, Claire becomes increasingly anxious, as Justine’s depression seems to be less debilitating. Claire is somewhat calmed by the reassurance of her husband that experts agree the planet will spare earth while putting on a beautiful show, but with little real evidence to back it up. Claire’s anxiousness reaches an all-time high, when her optimistic, in denial husband overdoses on her anxiety medication when they realize the planet is getting dangerously close, rather than receding. All the while Justine remains in silent acceptance, or even anticipation for doomsday. As a clinically depressed person, Justine “knows things”. In other words, she is an enlightened individual whose knows that the destruction is eminent and that yes, it will destroy all that we know around us no matter what. But she sees what Claire fails to; that in the destruction of all that is physical and material, the meaningless, therein lies meaning in what cannot be destroyed. And this is what we witness in the final moments of the film, as Claire, Justine, and Leo (Claire’s young son), as they’ve joined hands underneath a fortress of wooden sticks that will protect their spiritual bond from anything.