Alleluia – Dark, deeply disturbing, and tragically beautiful
Directed by: Fabrice Du Welz
A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a DVD for my birthday. The title of the movie was “Calvaire”. It was a French horror film about a terrifying group of back woods killers, and it contained imagery that still haunts me to this day. I loved it! So, knowing that “Alleluia” was written and directed by the same person (Fabrice Du Welz) and starred the same lead actor (Laurent Lucas) along with Almodovar muse Lola Dueñas I knew I was in for something especially dark and difficult to watch. I was not disappointed.
Gloria (Duenas) is suffering from loneliness, due to a broken marriage. She finds Michel (Lucas) on a dating site, and decides to go on one date. That one date leads quickly to the two sleeping with each other, and Michel staying at Gloria’s house and even meeting her daughter. But, Michel is not what he seems and soon Gloria realizes that she has been conned, after loaning him money and discovering him with another woman. Hell hath no fury, right? But instead, Gloria falls deeper in love (or obsession) and the two become partners in crime.
The con business is looking good, until Gloria’s “Issues” cause her to begin a jealousy fueled violence spree. The power shifts between the two lovers, as Michel slowly realizes he is in over his head. He cannot bring himself to leave though, and continuously forgives her violent outbursts. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship!
This movie is not for the faint of heart. The violence is brutal and graphic. The psychological warfare is equally disturbing, and all the more so due to the brilliant acting of both Lucas and Duenas. The film has a central theme that is familiar (“Bonny and Clyde”, Natural Born Killers” ect.), but stays original enough in it’s characters that it succeeds at separating itself from the pack. “Alleluia” is the whole package: Beautiful, tragic, and disturbing. If you can handle the content, see it now!