Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hour of the Wolf

The Hour of the Wolf preys on our perception of reality and distorts what we think is real. The scenes with Johan and his wife, Alma, seem real until they are paired with Johan's own experiences. It seems to me that we are being shown two different viewpoints - Johan's "reality" versus his Alma's. This removes our (the viewer) ability to determine what is actually occurring. Are these crazy castle people actually saying the things they are? Are they even the room when Johan thinks he sees them? Or, is their behavior merely the product of his own mind?

An interesting thought I had was when Johan was approached by one of the castle family's acquaintances - the therapist, I believe - and he talks with Johan about how he can see things and feel things no one else can because he has painted so many people and knows how to truly understand them. This lead me to wonder if all the people Johan is seeing are actually people that have impacted him at different points throughout his life. I believe each person signifies a big moment in Johan's life, and some are representative of love, lust, shame, trauma and regret. In my opinion, Johan is suffering from a life of repression that is now thrusting it's way to the surface due to Veronica's return or his insomnia and paranoia. Whatever it may be, Johan's distorted perception of reality is what will ultimately be his demise.

1 comment:

  1. I also thought that we were being shown two different perspectives in The Hour of the Wolf. Alma seemed to be more in touch with reality while Johan was having experiences of his own. The combination of both perspectives definitely confused me at times, especially during the scenes with the aristocrats in the castle. Your question of whether their behavior was real or not also crossed my mind, and I mostly think it was all a fabrication of Johan’s unstable thoughts and emotions. One scene in particular was when the chain smoking aristocrat wife showed Johan and Alma her painting of a woman with whom Johan had a previous relationship. The ways in which the wife talked to Alma and Johan were very catty and unusual.