A Breakdown of “The Broken Circle Breakdown”


This week’s foreign film series movie was a film from Belgium by director Felix van Groeningen entitled The Broken Circle Breakdown. It is a movie adaptation of the play written by Mieke Dobbels and Johan Heldenbergh and stars Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh himself as leading lady and man in a tragic romance story. Beginning with a love-at-first-sight tale, I must say that I was relieved when it quickly took a drastic turn from romance to depression. There are an abundance of happy, romantic, and overly predictable movies that begin in the same way. When the turn was taken, it meant that the whole film could not be neatly wrapped up in a neat little bow in the end.

With a strong emphasis on music, particularly American Bluegrass, the story brings a unique mixture of upbeat to go along directly, and at the same time, as the sad, leaving the viewer in a whirlwind of emotions all at once that keeps the audience’s attention. This being said, it does take a little bit away from the emotion that I believe the plot and the director call for during certain scenes in a distracting way. The soundtrack in a stand-alone way is unique for the type of genre this movie is, which proves to be interesting. The storyline unfolds is in a non-linear way, jumping from past to the present, and even sometimes into the future of where the movie seems to be taking place. This can at times become confusing, but at the same time it adds to the movie’s depth, keeping even the slowest moments of the film at least slightly intriguing, which can begin to drag on. It all becomes worth the wait in the end, when in a psychedelic segment of scene compilations the cinematic value behind the film is finally revealed, pulling the audience into the film more so than even the main tear-jerker scenes that are essentially the meat and potatoes of the movie. All in all, having a strong plot that makes more sense the more you watch and a cast that works beautifully together makes this movie definitely worth the watch.

Article by Krista Skweres

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