The Idiots is about a group of people who confront the conventions of middle-class society by exploring their 'inner idiot'. Liberated by fully experiencing their excessive feelings, aggression and primitive egotistical sexuality, members of the group must also deal with the aftermath of their idiocy.
A well-made, funny and thoughtful film ; but ultimately a bit disappointing because of its well-ploughed content, and unoriginal take on it. There's something for everyone : comedy, philosophy, pornography, social comment, and a real story involving at least 2 interesting people. And it's all filmed according to the strictures of the director's beliefs : musicless, 'real' and a bit off-beat. But really it's a bunch of hippies versus Responsibility, and - apart from a few really funny, shocking and emotional scenes - it doesn't quite pack the punch it occasionally promises. Dogma is fine, and it still looks like a film that is pushing some boundaries, and its 'conventional' setting gives it immediate impact, but, in the end, it doesn't break the mould.
I was slightly worried this was going to be 110 minutes of improvised idiocy, but it actually turned out to be a much better structured piece of storytelling than I was expecting. The central premise of faking mental illness for fun is pretty shocking and taboo, an issue the film doesn't shy away from confronting head on, but it does also raise some interesting notions regarding 'polite society', and people's varying reactions to the disabled. The grainy home-movie style cinematography doesn't make this pleasant to look at (certainly compared to Von Trier's other films), but it probably helps to keep the film feeling it bit more real than a more polished product might. We get a good glimpse of an enclosed society, its internal power struggles, and some quite moving storylines for some of the characters - if I have one major criticism, it's that not all of them are fully explored to an equal level, so sometimes it can be hard keeping track of who's who. Obviously a film that will only appeal to arty-farty types, but well worth a watch if you want something different and interesting.