"...and they descended upon the earth to strengthen their ranks." - Opening quote, Borgman
"My name is Legion, for we are many." - Mark 5:9. (Signs reading "I am" and "we are" in the play towards the end of the movie.)
Camiel Borgman is a greater demon of hell, but not the Antichrist or Lucifer as other reviewers may cite. "Camiel" and "Borgman" is actually his job title, the etymologies of these names elude to the purpose he serves for Lucifer; his real name is given at the beginning of the movie, "Anton", which is believed to be a lie in an attempt to gain admittance to the house. I will discuss the importance of his real name later. The etymology of "Camiel" is 'acolyte', defined as a youth serving in a religious service or procession, and "Borgman" is 'a man who takes toll; a landlord'. So his literal job title based on his name's etymologies is "Acolyte Landlord", or one who collects tolls for another. These 'tolls' are the souls of Anton's victims and the master in question is Lucifer.
Anton's actions and behaviors are most closely aligned with that of such mythical creatures of an alp or incubus. He is seen as a magical being, as noted when Isobel comments on a magician visiting her. Anton's demonic predilections include manipulating dreams, noted by his dream-weaving over Marina while she's asleep, seducing others into slavery-like obedience, noted by Marina's and eventually Richard's change of heart towards Anton, inciting murderous intent, like with Isobel finishing off the gardener with a huge rock slab after Anton gestures towards him with a slight wave, and generally being the catalyst that draws out the '7 Deadly Sins' of Christian immorality in others. Numerous examples of the latter include wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony throughout the movie, especially with the husband, Richard (wrath: beating Anton to a pulp at beginning, greed: trying to take over his friend's company, etc.) At the intersection of all these sins committed by others is Anton, either directly or indirectly influencing their actions, satiating his demonic appetite, and advancing his evil kingdom.
As a greater demon, Anton has enslaved lesser demons who serve him unconditionally and are constantly striving to win his favor. These servants are represented by his two "friends" at the beginning of the movie and the "mother/daughter" pair later on. Case in point: when Anton and the 2 women drive past Ludwig and Pascal, Pascal phones Anton to ask why they fell out of "favor" with him. Later in the movie, his servants put on a play to entertain and honor Anton. Additionally, Anton's 'hounds of hell' are there to usher in his reign, but he chastises them for arriving too soon.
The souls of the children and young babysitter of the family are coveted by Anton, as only children is Anton interested in. This is why, at the beginning of the movie, he chooses the household based on the fact that it has children's toys in the front yard. His minions and he gradually win them over through manipulation and seduction. Once they "drink the Kool-Aid", a sign of ultimate obedience and recognition of demonic sovereignty, the children's backs are branded by the mark of Lucifer (which is shown that Anton also bears) and their souls are culled from the earth, depicted as entering the forest at the end of the movie.
The story of the 'White Child' that Anton narrates to the children is a parable in which Anton is the cripple, "Antonius". The story is of an angel (white child) falling from heaven (above the clouds) and into the depths of hell (the bottom of a deep lake with a terrible beast in it). In the story, Anton volunteers to save the mother's child after all others would not. The villagers wrongly placed their trust in Jesus for the salvation of the child, which Anton chastises them in the narrative, stating, "Jesus is only concerned about Himself". The etymology of "Anton" is 'priceless', so placing one's faith in Anton is synonymous with placing one's faith in something that is priceless, an obvious parallel to two of the '7 Deadly Sins': idolatry and greed. The moral of the story is the same as the moral of the movie: that we should put our faith in Anton, not Jesus. After all, Anton Camiel Borgman is by etymological namesake the Priceless Acolyte Landlord.
Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
A priest and his companion hunt silently through the fields, accompanied by a braying dog. They are armed and deadly. Their quarry is Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), living in military sparseness in an underground den, near companions Ludwig and Pascal. Camiel scrapes out with some difficulty, hitching a ride with a doomed truck driver on a relentless trip to the heart of suburbia. He passes by two odd women, Brenda and Ilonka, with whom he seems to share a history. When a dirty Camiel arrives at the door of artist Marina and media executive Richard's expansive, designer-chic home, the shifting perceptions of Van Warmerdam's screenplay begin to displace and disorient the audience. Hallucinogenic elements dot the consciousness as Camiel shifts between the roles of victim and aggressor. He asks for a bath. He toys with Richard's jealousy. He is viciously beaten up by his cruelly intolerant host and left wounded on the floor. Marina seeks to assuage her guilt by allowing him a space for ...
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June 18, 2019 at 03:02 PM