New Order is a brutally dystopian vision which feels frighteningly close, this alarmist, gruelling thriller pulls no punches in its bleak examination of the gap between rich and poor. Set in Mexico City, the film opens at a lavish wedding held by a wealthy family whilst the beginnings of protest and demonstration gather outside its guarded walls. The family are disconnected from the plight of the less fortunate – save for the bride herself, played by Naian Gonzalez Novind, who tries to help out with a former servant’s medical bills. This plunges her into the heart of growing chaos, becoming increasingly bloody as the lower paid exploited workers mount the walls and storm the wedding in an outpouring of rage, killing indiscriminately.
Novind herself is taken prisoner by the uprising and writer/director Michel Franco pulls no punches in showing how quickly events can spiral out of control. Principle gives in to power as the rich are tortured and slaughtered depending on their financial use to the ‘revolutionaries’. The film stays mostly with the wealthy, lighter-skinned and privileged, whilst the workers are darker-skinned and less personified, a writhing mass of often faceless discontent, the result of years of exploitation.
It’s a tough watch: Franco is deeply pessimistic about the state of the world and humanity itself, his film acting like a howl for change whilst also functioning as a grim zombie-esque apocalyptic thriller. No-one is above being killed for profit or revenge amidst the maelstrom Franco creates – the revolutionaries as bad as their overlords, the world on a hair trigger as the violence escalates, humiliation and brutality being the order of the day. A nightmarish snapshot of a flashpoint in time, this is a bleak howl into the abyss.
Dir: Michel Franco (18, 86 mins)
Released in cinemas on Fri 13 Aug
words KEIRON SELF
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