Imagine being a softspoken British audio guy in the 70s. Imagine being dragged into a gore movie production as this British guy. There you have the auditory adventure that is Berberian Sound Studio. It is certainly something.
Take your conventional Hollywood narrative, hold it firmly in your, and then throw it right out the window! That’s exactly what this movie did. It starts out rather conventional with a man coming to a foreign country and feeling very isolated. Then it quickly spirals into pure and utter madness as his isolation grows. On top of that, this movie is English AND Italian but the thing is, there are no subtitles. This further builds the sense of isolation. You feel less and less human. Every interaction stripping you of human connection. It is a very unique way to portray loneliness and isolation in a foreign country.
Where Berberian Sound Studio really shines is in its aesthetics. It feels like a 70s movie with its tinted colors and long-drawn-out shots. But where it truly shines is in the soundscapes. Being a movie about audio engineering it is to be expected but I was truly thrown aback at just how intense every scene could feel. This movie is less about narrative and more about feeling and oh boy did it deliver in that department. The only thing that didn’t quite felt right was the ending. But there can be no perfect movie now can there?
My suggestion is as follows. Go into this movie with an open mind. Throw everything you know about traditional narratives out the window. Enjoy the movie for what it is. Take some time afterward and reflect on how this movie made you feel. Take some time and reflect on how fixed we are at narratives being a specific way. Lastly, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. That’s what I did watching this movie and I am happy I did. I hope you will be too!