Not all films tell stories. Some films are studies in condition. Its main motive is not entertainment but to understand the human condition. ‘Essential Killing’ (2010) is one such film, at the centre of which is Vincent Gallo’s superb performance for which he was awarded at Venice.
In the first glance, it’s an odd product indeed. Made by a polish director, Jerzy Skolimowski (who also made the fascinating ‘Deep End’ (1970)), it features an American actor as an Arab, who for some inexplicable reasons, transported from the deserts to a country covered with snow, where the Arab prisoner escapes, and now, to survive he must kill those who hunts him. So, essential killing.
It’s a difficult film to watch, and not only for its subject matter. Half of the film is without any dialogue and follows Callo closely, as he tries to survive and make sense of his new-found environs.
Gritty, and worthwhile, but difficult nonetheless.