Infinity Pool (2023)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Like father, like son, it works well here. Brandon Cronenberg not only became a film director like his father, the well-known David Cronenberg but has also been inclined to recreate the visually challenging and surreal universes that his father has accustomed us to. Infinity Pool is Brandon’s third feature film and with it, he confirms his directing style and his preferences when it comes to presenting his narrative. It is impossible not to refer to the cinema that we know of his father and the heap of sequences that he has bequeathed to the cinema. Each scene seems to be covered by a large shadow that eclipses Brandon’s hand and only lets us see Cronenberg.

On the fictional island of La Tolqa, James (Alexander Skarsgård) is spending a vacation with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman). An unexpected encounter with Gabi (Mia Goth) and Alban (Jalil Lespert) takes James and Em out of their comfort zone and reveals the real reason for their vacation. The script by Brandon Cronenberg himself strives to hook us in those first minutes and for this, he uses intrigue and suspense. The paradisiacal hotel seems to hide dark secrets and the island that houses it inspires absolute mistrust. Once the director has revealed the turning point of his story and prepares us for the second act, everything becomes more and more bizarre.

The Universe of Infinity Pool

Karim Hussain’s cinematography becomes the most effective element of Infinity Pool. The more we delve into the universe of that La Tolqa that hatched in the mind of Brandon Cronenberg, the more we detach ourselves from reality and immerse ourselves in the surreal world to which the director subjects us. Its grotesque and violent images shake us and even stir our insides. Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth take over the screen and their performances hit us hard. The characters are enhanced by Hussain’s camera, the use of colors, and the precise production design.

Within the Infinity Pool discourse, we can find reflections on moral and ethical approaches, and confrontations of an existential nature. In a more explicit way, a critique is built that points to the wealthy class and the levels of depravity to which its members can reach in search of satisfying the infinite pleasure of the flesh.

The fact that distributor NEON had to edit the film to avoid an NC-17 rating and potentially lose space in theaters tells us that Cronenberg is betting everything on his visual world. Here it is more important how the story is told than what the story tells us.

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