Knocking : Insanity comes from within

Knocking (2021) - Frida Kempff, Ville Virtanen - HD Trailer - English Subtitles 00-00-52
(Photos: Amman International Film Festival)
The uproar from the neighbors in “Knocking” is cause for concern. Or is it rather the new tenant who is not well? When Molly (Cecilia Milocco) is released from a mental institution and tries to rebuild her life, knocks are heard at all hours of the day or night in her ceiling. A stain also seems to be spreading quietly.اضافة اعلان

In this dark film, which screened as part of the international section of Amman Film Festival, the protagonist, Molly, is given the opportunity to leave the closed psychiatric facility and start a new life in a small apartment. But on her first night, a mysterious knock keeps her awake. The neighbors claim neither to have heard nor to know about this background noise. Not even the police believe Molly. So she goes in search of clues herself and gets deeper and deeper into something from which there will be no way out.

Because Molly has to suffer a lot in Knocking. Although her psychological background is never specifically addressed, one thing becomes clear enough. Events in her past meant that she was under in-patient psychiatric care for a long time and is currently dependent on taking medication. With this stigmatization, she does not appear credible to neighbors or the police.

Particularly depressing
As a viewer, you experience the events consistently from Molly’s point of view. The actual story arc is very minimalistic. She is either afflicted by knocking or screaming in her sparsely furnished apartment or is in the house looking for the origin of what is happening. Through some seeming flashbacks, a carrot dangles in front of the viewer’s nose every now and then, which spurs him on to track down the reasons for Molly condition. But in the end there is little classic suspense.

It is the dimly lit apartment, Molly’s increasingly desperate search, and her completely overwhelmed environment that leads to unease among the audience.

The sufferers
Since Knocking presents itself more as a chamber play-like psychodrama, its minimalism stands and falls with its actors. Milocco plays the mentally unstable Molly outstandingly. Thankfully, the screenplay does not tailor her script to an exaggerated clichéd psycho aunt, but gives her plenty of room for the realistic portrayal of a suffering person whose initial skepticism keeps spreading and ultimately dominates all her actions and thoughts.

In one scene, returning home after a frustrating experience, she sits in her apartment crying. One wishes that this crying represents her realization that she cannot free herself from this whirlpool without external help. But the pull is too powerful for her, emaciated from her struggle, to resist.

In addition to the strong performance, there are also various techniques with camera angles or lenses that give Molly’s anxiety visual expression. Either a wide-angle lens provides slightly distorted and unreal shots or a camera rig attached to Milocco captures every facial expression when she completely succumbs to her psychosis; images are guaranteed.

Knocking is as oppressive as it is tragic. A psychosis is filmed in a surprisingly sensitive and realistic way, which is mainly due to the brilliant leading actress. However, you have to be able to get involved with the very minimalist arc of suspense and should not expect a classic horror or psychological thriller.

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