Censor – Review

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Such a traumatic event shakes the psyche, can trigger the human brain to erase the memory of it. A self-defense mechanism as a form of protection. But is it really always protective? Especially when memory loss actually causes confusion, which is not impossible, leading to another mental shock. Top Movie Site

Through his feature directorial debut, Prano Bailey-Bond, who also wrote the script with Anthony Fletcher, presents a parallel between this psychological condition and the process of film censorship, which is said to be carried out to protect child audiences and the nation’s morale. But just as memory loss confuses a person, cropping a scene has the potential to spoil the film.

Our protagonist is Enid (Niamh Algar), the rigid and introverted woman who works for the British censorship agency. Not in the present, but around the 1980s, when exploitation horrors categorized as “nasty videos” were mushrooming. Enid strictly obeys the rules, cutting scenes that he feels are inappropriate, because he believes that this work is done to protect people.

Enid censors films every day, but something else is also subject to censorship: the memory. Enid doesn’t remember what really happened, when his sister, Nina, was lost in the forest. Is Nina lost? Kidnapped? Or even died in the hands of Enid himself? Until he was assigned to censor a film called Don’t Go in the Church, which is reminiscent of the events of Nina’s disappearance. Enid begins an investigation, to find out whether the parallel between fiction and reality is just a coincidence, or if there is a hidden secret behind the film. Best Movie

Censor shares an aesthetic resemblance to the nasty video, particularly the giallo in terms of expressionism lighting that is dominated by vibrant reds and greens. Even so, atmospherically, Bailey-Bond actually takes the opposite approach to the subgenre being discussed. Not cheap, not exploitative, even artsy. Reaching about 54 minutes, then there was a bloodbath, which, although a bit late, was enough to prove the director’s ability to “copy” the over-the-top massacre scene typical of nasty videos.

The problem with most artsy horrors has always been about the less sinister terror, as the price to pay to produce a “classy” spectacle (critics tend to heap praise, but I doubt they actually “scared” when they saw it). Censorship is the same, which is actually a bit unfortunate, when a tribute appears against the subgenre being honored.

At least, thanks to strong writing plus solid pacing (the director can tell the difference between slow tempo and stagnation), although there is minimal horror, especially in the early half, Censor is effective in capturing the audience’s attention. Curiosity was successfully provoked, then without realizing it, half the duration had passed. Niamh Algar’s acting also contributed here. He is like a magnet that seems to attract the audience to enter, then trapped in the maze of memory of his character.

Enid’s ambiguous memory triggers a series of surreal journeys, culminating in a bloody climax (although not yet at the nasty video level), before being closed by a sharp and intriguing satirical conclusion, which quips the statement that “the loss of the existence of nasty videos will be directly proportional to the loss of crime”. Movie Review

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