Drowning by Numbers


Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance


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Downloaded 4,206 times
June 17, 2015 at 02:54 AM


David Morrissey as Bellamy
Joely Richardson as Cissie Colpitts 3
Juliet Stevenson as Cissie Colpitts 2
Bernard Hill as Madgett
1.84 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 6 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by NateManD 10 / 10

Good surprise.

I enjoy the films of Peter Greenaway. "The Cook the Thief his Wife and her Lover" and "the Pillowbook" are both films that are unique and visionary. Peter Greenaway is like a British David Lynch. Some critics get frustrated by Greenaway, claiming his films are self indulgent. I feel self indulgent is sometimes a good thing, especially when it comes to a breathtaking film like "Drowning by Numbers". The movie is one giant puzzle. There's a girl who jumps rope while counting out the names of the stars by number. Try to see if you can spot all the numbers 1-100 hidden throughout the film. The plot concerns three women, a mother and two daughters. All 3 women are named Cissy. Each woman named Cissy drowns their deadbeat husbands for being unsatisfactory lovers. Magit is the local coroner, and he agrees to keep the murders a secret. He makes a deal to claim each death an accidental drowning, if each Cissy gives him sexual favors in return. So 3 generations of women all named Cissy decide to lead on Magit the coroner without promise. Poor Guy! The coroner's son Smut, is obsessed with death. He plays strange number games and marks roadkill with different colored paint. He also likes to set of fireworks after a death. Not to mention, Smut is also obsessed with circumcision. He's never been circumcised and feels the need to take matters in his own hands, so to speak. Wow, the crazy things men will do for women. Also look for Nip/Tuck actress Joely Richardson as the youngest Cissy. "Drowning by Numbers" is extremely bizarre, and shows that life is a game made up of numbers. It's a brilliant surreal mind-phuk puzzle that you have to watch at least twice to comprehend. Peter Greenaway is very original, with satirical wit and a dark comic edge.

Reviewed by bechamel 10 / 10

An unsung, all-time masterpiece.

Not much I can add to the rave reviews above. A simple-complicated-ugly-beautiful-puzzle-painting of a film, which demands repeated viewings.

"Drowning" is not for everyone - but look at the breakdown on that voting. As I write this, this film got more "10"s than any other number.

I'm not into lists, but if you forced me, this would be my number one.

Go see (or rather go buy). If you've seen it before, see it again - new layers reveal themselves even now.

Reviewed by Scoopy 5 / 10

Quirky, eccentric, engaging

I was ready to shut this movie off during the opening credits. A young girl skips rope as she names the stars in the cadence of her count 13-Rigel, 14- get it? Now you'd think most filmmakers would pick up this little symbol at a point near its end, but not Peter Greenaway. We see the whole count. I nearly fell asleep before the movie title appeared.

I'm glad I didn't. This is one weird movie, but a charming entertainment. The counting to 100 in the rope-jump prefigures the appearance of the numbers one through a hundred in sequence throughout the movie. It's fun after a while to see if you can spot them or to predict their appearance.

The plot, such as it is, centers around three women with the same name who all drown their husbands, with the assistance of the coroner, an inveterate gamesman. The other main character is the coroner's bizarre number-obsessed son, who narrates, and actually does most of the numbering that marks the progress of the film. The main characters are all utterly amoral.

Does the plot really matter? It's a black comedy, and a puzzle. The people are real, but they aren't. "The play's the thing". The film is odd and personal. I loved it. You may not. It reminded me of TV's famous "The Prisoner".

Peter Greenaway wrote and directed. The script is dryly amusing. The visual presentation is poetic and rich with symbols. The camera angles are unusual, befitting the material photographed. The landscape is ethereal, not unlike Prospero's Island in Greenaway's The Tempest. Except maybe for Zefferelli, nobody creates a richer texture of visual imagery.

For me, the only disappointment was an unsatisfying ending. I guess this was how it had to end. I couldn't come up with a better solution to the puzzle, but I wanted the characters to fare better than they did, and the fate of the boy-narrator seemed unduly harsh.

Still and all, it was Greenaway's game, and that's how he played it. I'm not sure why anyone financed this film, because the potential audience is small.

But I sure liked it.

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