At home she's constantly being rejected by her mother and her sister is suffering from a deadly disease. At home she has to deal with being deeply misunderstood while also grossing out her class mates. In heart Pauline just wants to lose her viginity while having menstruation, to become a surgeon and for her sister to survive.
Clearly I had to check out one of the most talked about films of 2012 - but as usual I was just waiting for the hype to die down a little bit. There's just something extremely unappealing about a movie once you've heard the name from hundreds of different sources in a short period of time, and like so many times before I just decided to wait. It didn't take too long before people started shutting up about it, and Njutafilms just released it so it seemed like my time to dive into this odd comedy.
Pauline doesn't fit in everywhere. It's not that she is a miserable girl who cries at night because no one likes her. She's quite happy with who she is - she doesn't mind being gross and just weird. Her parents, mother especially, couldn't be less proud of her and only wish for her to change attitude towards things. Her sister suffers from a disease that attacks her lungs, and she doesn't have long left to live. If there is one thing Pauline cares about, it's what is happening to her sister. Every day she studies the disease, while keeping her dreams of becoming a surgeon close to heart. Pauline is still a normal girl in her late teens, she has violent but sexualized fantasies that are the reason for her decision to lose her virginity while on her period.
I didn't know that "Excision" would be a much of a comedy as it is, and this came a joy to me. In fact, had it not been a comedy then a lot of the appeal would've been lost. The story is simply not great or that new: "Excision" feels like a mix between "Firstful of Flies" and "Ginger Snaps". It picks up on the things that a teenager might be going through: family life, school, sex and maturity, and it portrays them in slightly extreme and bizarre manners. It doesn't manage to deliver any messages as well as "Ginger Snaps" did (as shallow as they were even in "Ginger Snaps") and mostly jumps between several issues without connecting them too much. We're left mostly just watching a weird girl doing weird things, and not until the final seconds do we get emotionally involved. Strangely enough, even the Pauline character shares a lot with Brigitte from "Ginger Snaps". It's probably a coincident, but I can't deny that it's there.
It's hard for me to put "Excision" on a pedestal even though I was quite entertained by it. There are certainly some really funny moments, and the fantasies of Pauline are often quite visually appealing, but whether you are laughing or being shocked you probably won't find a lot to take in. I find the main story which develops (slowly) through-out, and ultimately is lead to the finale, is quite sweet and it is the only time where we really care for Pauline in any way. She is so intentionally gross that we just can't get too involved in her character. I'm not asking for a sad, emo-esque character, nor do I need one with a big heart, but at least I need to see a reason to care for the protagonist. Pauline offers awkward laughs, but not much else. "Excision" is worth checking out, no doubt, but don't expect to be carried away or mindblown. Some funny bits, some gory bits, and plenty of odd bits.