Kloipy is Haunted by Vinyan

vinyanGrief is a powerful emotion. Couple that with regret and surprisingly, hope, and you have a dangerous mix. Vinyan is a movie about what happens when we cloud our judgment because of these emotions. The depths that we are willing to go to fulfill the lies that our mind can create in order to cope with loss. The movie is pitched in the trailers as a horror film, and while it has elements that are horrific, I don’t really classify it in the genre. It’s also suspenseful, but it’s not a thriller either. The film is something you can’t really categorize. It’s beautiful and depressing, evoking a feeling of strange.

The movie starts off with a long shot underwater; sounds of the waves slowly turn into sounds of screaming. We find out that the main characters lost their son during the Tsunami in ’04. Played brilliantly by Rufus Sewell as Paul and Emmanuelle Beart as Jeanne. Both of these actors are exceptional in their respective roles and I believe they both brought their own personal grief into this film. They start out as a couple that, while in love, are still coming to terms with losing their child. While at a humanitarian meeting, they are shown a video of the relief aid in Myanmar. In the video there is a boy that is out of place, wearing a red shirt. Jeanne automatically recognizes the child as her own son, Josh. No one else seems to see what she does but she is certain of it and begs Paul to let them search for him, even if it is a lost cause.

This leads them into the confusing back alleys and into the belly of the city to meet a man who is able to acquire safe passage on a boat. These scenes are wonderfully done. The noise of the crowds and the language barriers add to the tension. They don’t fully understand each other and it adds to the confusion of what is to lie ahead for them. Soon they find themselves on a beat up boat which is captained by a more than shady man. Paul has reservations about the trip not that he doesn’t love or want his son back, but afraid for his wife as she increasingly becomes unstable. Jeanne has tunnel vision, which is understandable. She refuses to believe that she could be wrong. That child on the tape was her son, and she won’t let anyone, even Paul, change her mind about it. After being led around into the mouth of the jungle, the captain tells them that they have found Josh and they need only come to get him back. Paul and Jeanne are ecstatic about finding their child. They are led to a shack in which Josh is supposed to be and when they go to get him a child comes forward, but it isn’t their son. Paul is furious, but Jeanne only sees this child as Josh. She protests against Paul because she knows it is Josh. Paul has to drag her from the hut and away from the boy.


Paul wants to go home but he also loves his wife. He chooses to continue on with her in hopes that something will snap her back into reality. They make their way deeper into the jungle and that’s where I will stop with synopsis. The rest of the film is better left unspoiled. I think again this is a film that will split people in its culmination; however, I feel it was a fantastic way to end, in mud and metaphor.

In a way, Vinyan itself is all a metaphor, or at least a meaningful dream. The film tells you that Vinyan is someone who dies a horrible death, leaving their spirit confused and angry. I think this is better telling of a living person, at least of the people in this film. To metaphorically die in spirit; leaving only the anger and confusion. As a parent, I think it hit me harder. I understand the plight of Paul and Jeanne as I would go to the same measures in order to find my daughter. Although being a parent is the greatest reward, it is also the strongest  responsibility you can ever face. They rely uvinyan-7pon you and you do everything in your power to keep them safe. You delude yourself to think that they will never get hurt, get in to trouble, or worse. However, the movie understands the danger  in delusion. That way that we are able to believe what we want, even if our heart knows it is untrue. That belief that can become more real than reality. We are fragile creatures and along with having a higher intelligence; births a more unstable base. We want to control our surroundings; to make life work for us and when we can’t control the external, we warp the internal to fit what we need. We constantly teeter on the edge as humans. We check the house for strange noises in the night. We feel people looking at us, thinking about us when we pass by them. We try to control our anger in fear that someone will see and ship us off as a danger to society. What scares us most about insanity is the fact that deep down, we all know it. We’ve all seen its face and we run fast to put it in the dark of our unconscious.

What this movie does so well is to demonstrate these feelings with more subtlety. It never feels like it is trying to force a message. It just floats by, seeming harmless enough, but in its wake leaves barbs that stick with you long after it is gone.  I highly recommend catching this movie if you get the chance. For a small film, it’s big on scope and meaning, which lacks so much these days. Until next time.

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About kloipy

a poor deluded sap hoping to find his place in this mixed up crazy world

17 responses to “Kloipy is Haunted by Vinyan”

  1. Jarv says :

    Great review. I’ve never heard of this.

    It sounds a bit like it owes a lot to Don’t Look Now.

  2. Tom_Bando says :

    I was going to make some horribly inappropriate comment about ‘And the Giant Snake figures into this one HOW-?!’ but thought better of it. This sounds okay. That Tsunamai was horrible.

  3. kloipy says :

    they should make an anaconda 5, where scientists make a shrinking ray, but wait, what’s this, a whole shit-load of anacondas snuck (somehow) into the machine
    Coming this summer
    Anaconda 5: Trouser Snake

  4. koutchboom says :

    Ugh I hated HATED this guys first movie. But this one looks pretty decent. Plus Rufus was the bomb in Dark City.

  5. kloipy says :

    koutch, I never saw the Ordeal, but I’ve heard it’s got some horrible stuff in it. From whaqt I heard about that one, this is very tame compared.

  6. ThereWolf says :

    A bit of personal writing going on there, Kloipy. Nice.

    I saw the trailer for Vinyan a few months ago and thought it looked interesting. Forgot all about it though so I’m glad you reminded me. Funnily enough, as I watched the trailer, Don’t Look Now also crossed my mind.

    I quite like Emmanuelle Beart as well…

  7. lord bronco says :

    The first sentence made me think of the indie movie “Sauna”-which I wanted to like more-because it *is* weird and indie-but maybe you guys have also seen?

    Thank you for the review…

  8. kloipy says :

    Thank you ThereWolf. Like any review I can only state my opinion of a film, but I really think this one is special in it’s own way, it’s artistic, and it actually evokes emotion. I hope if you get a chance to see it you will enjoy it as much as I did.

    Lord Bronco- I haven’t heard of Sauna, but I am also a sucker for the weird, surrealistic fair. There is a lot of shit in that genre, but it’s great to find a nice gem here and there

  9. kloipy says :

    Thank you Frank! I am fairly certain there were no anacondas in this one haha

  10. ThereWolf says :

    Seen it now, Kloipy…

    Well acted by Beart & Sewell, very natural. As mentioned, ‘Don’t Look Now’ is all over it (I kept thinking ‘Don’t Look Apocalypse Now’!) – the use of red for one thing. I just felt helpless watching this couple drift into a nightmare, they were like automatons almost, pre-programmed to follow a course of action they couldn’t hope to avoid.

    At the same time, I was never sure if I was watching a story unfold or whether the collection of steadily surrealistic imagery was Jeanne’s mind starting to implode – like I was in her head the whole time.

    An experience, certainly but not exactly enjoyable. Too painful for that.

    • kloipy says :

      Wolf, I’m glad you finally got around to catching this. I need to rewatch this again as it’s been a while now. I just was really moved by this movie and you are definitely right it is an experience. I really love the non-linear feel to it towards the end. I loled when I read your “Don’t Look Apocalypse Now” comment sounds like the name of a broadway musical about AN

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