Magazine article Screen International

'Goliath': Busan Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Goliath': Busan Review

Article excerpt

A young man turns to steroids to improve his self-worth in Dominik Locher’s second feature

Dir: Dominik Locher. Switzerland. 2017. 85mins

If a man can neither provide nor protect, then what is his purpose? How does it affect his self-esteem? Those questions are central to Goliath, a second feature from Swiss writer/director Dominik Locher (Tempo Girl) that uses the story of one couple to paint a wider portrait of masculinity in crisis. There may be a predictable arc to the narrative, but the uncompromising performances and sensitive direction allow it to punch above its weight and should ensure continuing festival interest.

Dominik Locher is effective in balancing the use of both pithy dialogue and wordless sequences

There is something of an American indie vibe to the story of a young working-class couple who bring out the best and worst in each other. David (Sven Schelker) is the most caring and attentive of lovers, but seems horrified when his girlfriend Jessy (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) announces that she is pregnant. The decision to keep the baby is almost arrived at on a whim.

Later, minor aggravation on a train escalates into a showdown with some thugs, in which Jessy is punched in the stomach and David is hit in the face. He finds no comfort in her reassurance that he did nothing wrong in the situation.David’s response is to start training in the gym and injecting steroids, provided by his work colleague Ludo (Jose Barros). As he bulks up and reinvents himself as a hyper masculine figure, David feels on top of the world. “I’m going to be the best dad ever,” he vows.

Locher is effective in balancing the use of both pithy dialogue and wordless sequences to bring us into the emotional turmoil being experienced by the characters. …

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