“Suspiria” is a failed masterpiece, famous for the variety of conflicting opinions about it. The gloomy film absorbs its atmosphere and envelops the mind of the viewer with symbolism and veiled messages.
The action of the picture takes place in the turbulent times of the 20th century in the Berlin dance academy, the walls of which are saturated with horrors. There are two branches in the storyline, slightly touching each other. One tells of a girl from America who entered the academy and is trying to figure out her secrets about the disappearance of dancers. And the other is about an old man with secrets, in whose heart love for his missing wife still burned, who found solace in the desire to save the missing girls.
Each hero has his own secret: for someone it causes fear and horror, and for someone – regret. However, they are all united by the inevitable meeting with the “mother”, which is known to a narrow circle of people from this school, namely, the coven of witches.
The meaning of the film
The picture nobly winds ropes in the mind of the beholder. Even heightened attentiveness is not enough for everyone to understand some points. It is worth checking out the 1977 film of the same name, thanks to which director Luca Guadagnino, who also worked on the famous Call Me by Your Name, was inspired as a child.
The 2018 version is filled with references to 1977. To understand the actions, immersion in deep psychoanalysis is necessary. The problems of non-acceptance of aging, the desire to forever have a young body are touched upon. Loyalty and renunciation, contrasted by the examples of witches and mother and daughter, are important when viewing for analysis.
The roots of the story come from history, referring to various events and personalities of the past, such as the Holocaust or the German dancer Pina Bausch (the scene from the play “Bluebeard” is similar to how witches hung on the wall).
The theme of motherhood is actively used both in the dance school in the circle of witches, and from the past of the main character and her memories.
Characteristics of heroes
Dakota Johnson, who played the main character, perfectly showed her changes from start to finish. Referring to the first moments of the picture with the help of symbolism, one can reveal the girl’s awareness of her essence.
It is impossible not to note the amazing performance of Tilda Swinton in three roles at once. One of them is an old man who lives on memories of his love. In an attempt to repay her “debt”, he tries to help the girls by referring to his wife’s diary, but his main mistake was that he wished for reality. Madame Blanc, the second role, definitely took care of the girls, trying to create a sisterhood and a sense of security and warmth between them, even at the last ritual she gives support to Susie, indicating that she must have confidence for this ritual.
Sarah (Mia Goth) and Olga (Elena Fokina) are the only students at the academy who care about the missing girls. They understood that strange and terrible things were happening that needed to be sorted out. Olga was ruined by her loyalty to her friend and her faith, and Sarah – the hope of saving all the girls and overestimating her strength.
Reminiscences are a kind of basis for the film, referring to the 1977 work of the same name.
The plot of the remake mentions mothers, one of which was Suzy. They are based on the trilogy of three mothers by Dario Argent, the concept of which was invented by Thomas De Quincey. In his opinion, there are three mothers of sorrow: the mother of sighs, the mother of tears and the mother of darkness, supposedly the symbolic essence of a woman. The mother of sighs is Suspiria/Suspiriorum, hence the name of one of the parts of the Dario Argent trilogy, and later the 2018 film.
The thriller evokes completely different feelings: from delight to disgust, leaving no one indifferent. The dark atmosphere absorbs the beholder, disturbing him with mixed feelings.
Despite the failure at the box office, the film’s ambiguity and the controversy it caused, which have not subsided for many years, demonstrate its success.