“The Wall” – or “Waiting for the Dog to Die”
Posted on November 5, 2013
The Austrian film The Wall could easily be called The Dog.
First, let me Wikipedia this: The Wall is about a woman who travels with an older couple to a hunting lodge in the Austrian Alps. The couple walk to the village. The woman stays. So does the couple’s dog, Lynx. When the lady notices the couple hasn’t returned the following morning she heads off on the road to the village, only to be stopped in her tracks by an invisible wall. She heads back to the lodge. It’s just her and the dog. The film jumps from the present to the recent past, so we know she’s been stuck in this predicament for a while. It appears at least several years pass.
The mystery, at least for the beginning of the movie, is wondering just what the feck this wall is. But then the concern goes moves away from the wall to the dog. Not long after the wall discovery we learn the dog is no longer with the woman. In the “past” scenes the woman is seen traipsing all over the Alps with the dog, becoming its friend. In the present, she sits forlornly writing her story with no dog in site. Then we learn the dog has died, but we don’t know how.
By now I’ve forgotten the wall, and only wonder with dread how and when that dog is going to die. Because it will. We know this. And we can see the woman is heartbroken over it. When the dog does die, it’s in the worst way you’d imagine. The movie (which is beautifully filmed) ends shortly afterwards – but not before a slow-motion scene of the dog running joyously through the pasture.
Wall, schmall. Nobody cares about the wall, not even the woman. It’s about the loss of the dog. At least Vincent, the dog in Lost, survived to the end. But at least this film left the wall a mystery, and didn’t try to explain it with some Jacob/Man-In-Black shit/protector of the island bullshit.