Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “The Seasoning House”
By: Brian Cotnoir
Why does every film set in the Balkans have to be so d@mn depressing? According to every film set there, everyone’s either a war criminal or a sex slave. Granted, the Balkans is an area known to be a place of great conflict and political unrest, but come on can we cut that region a break? There’s got to be more to the Balkans than just war, genocide, and human trafficking. I truthfully want to believe that it can’t be like that there all the time, so to the filmmakers of the world, could someone please try to make a film about the Balkans that isn’t depressing as all hell? I’m sure they’d really appreciate that, thanks.
So the film I’m reviewing today is called “The Seasoning House”. It is set in the Balkans in the year 1996, and it follows a young girl called “Angel”. Angel is a deaf-mute and was kidnapped by a group of soldiers during the Balkan Conflict; her mother was murdered right in front of her. She is taken to a man named Viktor to be used as a prostitute. Viktor decides not to force her to work as a prostitute, and instead makes Angel his caretaker. Her jobs consist of keeping the—rundown and dilapidated—house clean, and injecting the other girls with heroin to numb them out while various men pay to have sex with them. When Angel is not taking care of the house or the girls, she is usually wandering through the wall and the air ducts of the home, for no particular reason. At one point, Angel befriends one of the new girls at the house named Vanya. Vanya is able to communicate with Angel because she knows sign language. Vanya and Angel become very close, but one day Vanya is beaten and raped to death by a brutish soldier, and that’s when Angel decides to take her revenge. She escapes from the house and pretty soon she has a small group of soldiers pursuing her, and wanting to kill her.
|It's a hard knock life for...everyone in this region|
|An unlikely friendship in a difficult situation|
|You're a complex character, Viktor|
If you want to check out this film, I won’t dissuade you. It’s not a bad film, but it’s not that original of a story. I guess that’s a problem when you have 4 different screenwriters working on a screen play. I think if you like stories that are very character driven you will like “The Seasoning House”, but other than that I don’t see this film appealing to a wider audience.