After his best friend is killed before his eyes in a random act of violence, the teen protagonist of Violet (…) wanders around in a state of semi-shock, unable to reconnect with “normal” existence. Devos depicts stages of grief not as a series of emotions but as an evolving alchemy of perception that surrounds the protagonist, distorting time, space, color and light in patterns of dislocation (…).
The murder that overshadows the entire film is seen only indistinctly on a silent closed-circuit TV as a night watchman, reflected on the screen, leaves just before the apparently motiveless stabbing. Devos then cuts to the mall itself as 15-year-old Jesse (Cesar De Sutter), obviously in shock, hesitantly steps forward to witness the last breaths and movements of his best friend, Jonas. The inability to understand what has happened, much less cope with it, infects every character and every image.
Musical group Deafheaven’s song “Violet” supplies the film’s title (…).
Ronnie Scheib, Variety