Review: Kedi

DIR: Ceyda Torun • CAST; Bülent Üstün

 

The arrogance of humankind is such that, by placing ourselves at the pinnacle of food chain, we presume the lives of the other creatures who inhabit this planet to be unimportant or, at best, merely as an accompaniment to our own existence. In Istanbul, however, the hundreds of thousands of cats who roam its ancient streets freely and without owners are an integral part of the city’s soul. It is as much their home as it is for the human residents and there exists between these two species a sort of mutual agreement. The cats keep the streets clean from rodents and in return the locals look after them, leaving small piles of cat food and water dishes on every other corner and providing the occasional belly rub.

The documentary follows the lives of seven cats in particular – the Hustler, the Hunter, the Psycho, the Gentleman, the Social Butterfly, the Lover, and the Player as they are aptly named – and the people who care for them, though of course they do not own them in the classical sense. These cats are free spirits, each with their own distinct personalities and quirks, from guarding their litters from outsiders to knowing which restaurant door to paw at for food. Though aloof, cats are not the unfeeling animals they are often portrayed as in popular culture. The connection between the felines and their human counterparts is genuine, but as one of the best quotes from the film states, ‘While dogs think people are God, cats don’t. They just know better. They know people are just the middlemen.’ Cats can care for us, they’re just not dependent on us.

Kedi is a beautiful and thoughtful documentary that reflects on the nature of the relationship between cats and humans, cats and urban spaces, and cats and life in general. The question of how urban development will affect the city’s cat population is raised both as a very literal concern, but also as a more abstract one. If the cats begin to leave or die out, so too will something intangible yet important that lies at the core of the heart of Istanbul. Director Ceyda Torun manages to capture unique glimpses into the interwoven lives of the cat and the human. It is evident from the shots of cats on the highest of rooftops down to the most claustrophobic of nooks that a lot of hard work and love went into creating this film, making it all the more charming and engaging. While cat lovers will naturally be drawn to this documentary due to the subject matter alone, those with more ambiguous feelings towards our feline friends will also find oodles of things to enjoy in this well-crafted and lovable piece of film. A dog may be a man’s best friend but, with their inherent desire for independence, cats may just be the best reflection in fur of mans’ true nature.

Ellen Murray

79 minutes
G  (See IFCO for details)

Kedi  is released 30th June 2017

Kedi  – Official Website

 

 

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Review: Gifted

DIR: Mark Webb • WRI: Tom Flynn • PRO: Andy Cohen, Karen Lunder • DOP: Stuart Dryburgh • ED: Bill Pankow • DES: Alice Laura Fox • MUS: Rob Simonsen • CAST: Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, McKenna Grace

Gifted may be a schlocky feast with a side order of ‘feel-goodness’, but the film manages to maintain an earnestness thanks to the genuine performances from its talented cast. The question of how best to provide for intellectually gifted children is one that has never been truly answered satisfactorily; give the child access to more challenging content and they risk being alienated from their peers and potential arrested social development, yet confining them to their age appropriate level of study may stifle the spark of brilliance they carry within them. Director Mark Webb tries to tackle this juxtaposition head on but ultimately belies the complexity of the issue raised in the first two acts of the film by confusing cheesy melodrama for profoundness or insight, choosing to quickly wrap things up in a next little package while ignoring the loose threads still obviously dangling by the film’s conclusion.

After the tragic death of his mathematically gifted sister, Frank Alder (Chris Evans) is single–handedly raising his seven-year-old niece Mary (McKenna Grace), herself a child prodigy. After insisting that Mary attends a local elementary school in order to interact with kids of her own age, Frank finds himself caught up in a legal battle with his formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), who mistakes Frank’s insistence that Mary be granted as normal a childhood as possible as a deliberate obstruction of her granddaughter’s flourishing genius. Aided by a loyal neighbour, Roberta (Octavia Spencer), and Mary’s first grade teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate), Frank is torn between wanting to give his beloved niece all the opportunities that her brilliant mind will open for her, and wanting to save her from the sad and isolated pillar on which his mother had placed his sister. If not for the fact that the film goes out of the way to overly malign Evelyn’s character, who has good if short-sighted intentions, this would have made for an intriguing dilemma and added tension to the core of the narrative. However, Webb ensures that the lines are drawn from the get-go and robs the story of any nuance it could have benefitted from. Despite moments of real emotion scattered throughout, by the time the film reaches its climax it all feels so inevitable.

The film may be a frothy fluff piece but is anchored from floating into the abyss by the charming performances from its lead actors. Chris Evans brings heart to his turn as the imperfect but dedicated Frank, elevating the ‘damaged but sensitive hunk’ (as one character not so subtly describes him) archetype to something that feels human. Lindsay Duncan is also very watchable, despite her character being regulated to the ‘bad guy’ role. Though the script only allows very few glimpses into Evelyn’s true emotions, when it does Duncan ensures that those moments really hit home. Octavia Spencer and Jenny Slate are perfectly passable in their respective roles, though neither of their characters is ever expanded much upon beyond the basic function they serve to the plot. As for the titular gifted one, McKenna Grace as Mary is very endearing though there are moments in the film where it becomes apparent she is merely reciting lines that contain words or concepts outside her comprehension rather than making it believable as the character’s real thoughts.

Overall, Gifted is too paint-by-numbers to be brilliant but it makes for an enjoyable watch even though it often goes for the low ground to make an emotional impact.

Ellen Murray

101 minutes
12A (See IFCO for details)

Gifted is released 16th June 2017

Gifted – Official Website

 

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Review: The Mummy

 

DIR: Alex Kurtzman • WRI: Allan Heinberg • PRO: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle • DOP: Matthew Jensen • ED: Martin Walsh • DES: Aline Bonetto • MUS: Rupert Gregson-Williams • CAST: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis.

Shared universe cross-film franchises are so hot right now.

Universal kicks off their ‘Dark Universe’ series (lawsuit pending from Warner Bros., if rumours are true) with The Mummy, a film chockfull of Tom Cruise pursuing his favourite pastime, running away from danger and explosions, and little else. While the first entry into this new cinematic universe is lukewarm at best, it yet remains to be seen whether the public will view Universal’s new venture – which will also see the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, and the Wolfman being dusted off and pranced across screen once more – as a refreshing take on the current web of connected comic book films à la Marvel and DC, or whether the studio will fall to the same fate as Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur adaptation by greenlighting several projects before the first instalment has proven itself in the box office. Falling heavily on the ‘action’ side of the action-horror genre, The Mummy takes itself too seriously to be a fun-time summer blockbuster, but lacks the grit to provide genuine scares or tension.

The ever-limbering Tom Cruise is Nick Morton, an army reconnaissance solider stationed in northern Iraq with a shady side business dealing in the trade of ancient antiquities from war-torn areas on the black market. When an attempt to infiltrate a village occupied by oppositional forces results in the uncovering of a hidden Ancient Egyptian tomb, Morton and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) quickly discover that their momentous find contains something far more sinister than some dusty old relics and a mummified corpse. Having unwittingly released Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), the titular ‘Mummy’, from what was supposed to be her eternal prison, Morton and Jenny find themselves on the run from a particularly archaic force of evil. Enter right Prodigium, a mysterious organisation led by the brilliant Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) of Jekyll and Hyde fame that specialises in the study and destruction of evil in all its shapes and forms. But Ahmanet is a Mummy with a mission and poses a threat to the world that not even Tom Cruise may be able to outrun.

From a technical standpoint the film is pretty competent. The visuals are strong and sleek, but action sequences throughout suffer from choppy editing and rushed pacing blurring what exactly is happening on screen. The big set pieces are handled well however, if somewhat paint-by-numbers. One of the weaker elements by far is the film’s grasp, or lack thereof, on the horror portion of the narrative. Other than a few cheap jump-scares, director Alex Kurtzman fails to utilise practically any of the possibilities that an ancient mummy brought back to life provides. Aiming at somewhat older audiences than usual Hollywood blockbuster fair (it has received a 15A rating in Ireland), the film hesitates to take the plunge into true horror, relying on the tired old clichés that are arguably the worst part of the genre.

The film suffers from other, more nuanced problems too in its… shall we say, implications? It’s safe to say no one walks into a film called The Mummy and expects a completely accurate depiction of archaeological politics and the ethics involved in excavating sites in foreign conflict-ridden countries, yet the film asks us to suspend our sense of disbelief a bit too much in regard to these topics. There is definitely an unsavoury flavour of the ‘white-saviour’ complex running along the narrative; we never meet any Iraqi or Egyptian people who are not terrorists or a supernatural incarnation of evil. The question of removing artefacts from their native homeland is only touched upon once in a tone-deaf throwaway line of dialogue from Morton near the beginning of the film where he defends his theft of these ancient items as a sort of liberation – from the ignorant local people who couldn’t truly appreciate their market value, one can assume. Considering we now live in a time where historians and archaeologists from the Middle East are literally being killed for trying to preserve their countries history, it seems a massive oversight on the films part.

Overall, The Mummy is a forgettable, if ever-so-slightly-sometimes-kinda enjoyable, flick that straddles on the edge of, well, edginess, preferring to be bland rather than bold.

Ellen Murray

110 minutes
15A (See IFCO for details)

The Mummy is released 9th June 2017

The Mummy – Official Website

 

 

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Review: Gifted

DIR: Mark Webb • WRI: Tom Flynn • PRO: Andy Cohen, Karen Lunder • DOP: Stuart Dryburgh • ED: Bill Pankow • DES: Laura Fox • MUS: Rob Simonsen • CAST: Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, McKenna Grace

Gifted may be a schlocky feast with a side order of ‘feel-goodness’, but the film manages to maintain an earnestness thanks to the genuine performances from its talented cast. The question of how best to provide for intellectually gifted children is one that has never been truly answered satisfactorily; give the child access to more challenging content and they risk being alienated from their peers and potential arrested social development, yet confining them to their age appropriate level of study may stifle the spark of brilliance they carry within them. Director Mark Webb tries to tackle this juxtaposition head on but, ultimately, belies the complexity of the issue raised in the first two acts of the film by confusing cheesy melodrama for profoundness or insight, choosing to quickly wrap things up in a neat little package while ignoring the loose threads still obviously dangling by the film’s conclusion.

After the tragic death of his mathematically gifted sister, Frank Alder (Chris Evans) is single-handily raising his seven-year-old niece Mary (McKenna Grace), herself a child prodigy. After insisting that Mary attends a local elementary school in order to interact with kids her own age, Frank finds himself caught up in a legal battle with his formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), who mistakes Frank’s insistence that Mary be granted as normal a childhood as possible as a deliberate obstruction of her granddaughter’s flourishing genius. Aided by a loyal neighbour, Roberta (Octavia Spencer), and Mary’s first grade teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate), Frank is torn between wanting to give his beloved niece all the opportunities that her brilliant mind will open for her, and wanting to save her from the sad and isolated pillar on which his mother had placed his sister. If not for the fact that the film goes out of the way to overly malign Evelyn’s character, who has good, if short-sighted, intentions, this would have made for an intriguing dilemma and added tension to the core of the narrative. However, Webb ensures that the lines are drawn from the get-go and robs the story of any nuance it could have benefitted from. Despite moments of real emotion scattered throughout, by the time the film reaches its climax it all feels so inevitable.

The film may be a frothy fluff piece but is anchored from floating into the abyss by the charming performances from its lead actors. Chris Evans brings heart to his turn as the imperfect but dedicated Frank, elevating the ‘damaged but sensitive hunk’ (as one character not so subtly describes him) archetype to something that feels human. Lindsay Duncan is also very watchable, despite her character being regulated to the ‘bad guy’ role. Though the script only allows very few glimpses into Evelyn’s true emotions, when it does, Duncan ensures that those moments really hit home. Octavia Spencer and Jenny Slate are perfectly passable in their respective roles, though neither of their characters is ever expanded much upon beyond the basic function they serve to the plot. As for the titular gifted one, McKenna Grace, as Mary, is very endearing, though there are moments in the film where it becomes apparent she is merely reciting lines that contain words or concepts outside her comprehension rather than making it believable as the character’s real thoughts.

Overall, Gifted is too paint-by-numbers to be brilliant but it makes for an enjoyable watch even though it often goes for the low ground to make an emotional impact.

Ellen Murray

101 minutes
12A (See IFCO for details)

Gifted is released 9th June 2017

Gifted – Official Website

 

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Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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DIR: Guy Ritchie • WRI: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram • PRO: Steve Clark-Hall, Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Tory Tunnell, Lionel Wigram • DOP: John Mathieson • ED: James Herbert • DES: Gemma Jackson • MUS: Keefus Ciancia, David Holmes • CAST: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

It’s rarely a good sign when a studio pushes back the release date for one of its upcoming films more than once. To do it once is understandable to a degree, the studio may be trying to hit a holiday or avoid competition with another big release. Twice suggests that the studio has realised a last-minute problem with the film that needs fixing before marketing or release. Three times suggests that the studio is questioning its own product, unsure of where exactly it fits or what exactly it is.

Guy Ritchie’s newest adaptation of the King Arthur legend, supposedly the first film in a series of six, fits into the latter category. Though at times visually compelling, and not without some well-crafted sequences, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, much like the titular character, seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. Half sweeping fantasy epic, half nitty-gritty gang comedy (with just a dash of Kung Fu), the film is overstuffed with ideas that could have proven intriguing if given enough room to breathe.

After his father King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) is killed in a bloody coup led by his power-hungry uncle, Vortigern (Jude Law), our young prince finds himself adrift, stripped of his home and his throne. Found by some kindly sex workers on the banks of Londinium, who take him in and raise the boy as their own, his royal lineage is quickly forgotten. Years pass and the now brawny and brainy Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) maintains a tidy business running the brothel he grew up in and dabbling in some illegal goods trading on the side, all the while keeping the local law enforcement off his back with some generous pay-offs.

Haunted by memories of a past that now is little more than a dream to him, our scrappy protagonist is nonetheless content with his life. But Arthur’s destiny catches up with him when he, along with all the other young men in the kingdom, is brought to Camelot to see who can release King Uther’s sword from the stone it has been lodged in since his death. Of course, no sooner than Arthur’s hand touches the hilt our story really begins to kick off. Aided by his late father’s loyal followers, Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) and ‘Goosefat’ Bill Wilson (Aidan Gillen), as well as a mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who was the apprentice of Merlin himself, a reluctant Arthur must confront his fate and learn to be a force for good against his uncle’s evil.

The juxtaposition between the traditional ideas of the chivalrously noble King Arthur and Guy Ritchie’s rough and tumble interpretation makes for a nice new direction, but the concept fails to yield much of what it initially promises. Indeed, there are moments in the film when it seems the entire purpose of positioning Arthur as some sort of benign underworld Don was merely to provide some witty banter, word play and the quick cut dialogue exchanges between multiple characters that often marks Ritchie’s work. It ultimately raises some questions that are never answered. A lot of the problem lies with Hunnam’s performance; he’s simply a bit too geezer-esque, more aggressive than charming. The rest of the cast do well enough in their perspective roles, though Law’s turn as Vortigern often errs on the side of hammy rather than deliciously foppy.

The film’s strength lies in its engaging visuals, namely the impressive opening sequence and the clever editing during certain fight scenes which lends them a greater feel of urgency and excitement. However, the quality of the visuals does not remain consistent throughout the film. While in certain scenes the CGI is used to its best advantage, in others it looks badly rendered and cheap, almost akin to a videogame cutaway scene. Certain combat sequences are also edited too quickly with the camera too close up on the characters, making it difficult to discern what exactly is happening on screen, particularly in the latter half of the film.

Overall, this latest addition to the King Arthur filmography is at best mildly enjoyable schlock with some cool moments scattered about here and there, and at worst an inconsistent take on a classic character with an unpromisingly shaky foundation on which to build a film franchise. King Arthur may have drawn the sword from the stone, but it’s doubtful whether he’ll be able to draw audiences to the cinema with this film.

Ellen Murray

126 minutes
12A (See IFCO for details)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is released 12th May 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Official Website

 

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Review: The Eyes of My Mother

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DIR: Nicolas Pesce • WRI: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick • PRO: Max Born, Jacob Wasserman, Schuyler Weiss • DOP: Zach Kuperstein • ED: Nicolas Pesce, Connor Sullivan • DES: Nigel Phelps • DES: Sam Hensen • MUS: Ariel Loh • CAST: Kika Magalhaes, Dianna Agostini, Will Brill, Flora Diaz

Subverting and switching the expectations of a genre can make for thrilling cinema, but merely shooting in black and white and slowing down the pace does not alone a good film make. Nicolas Pesce’s directorial debut dresses a torture-porn horror in a stylish arthouse cover which, intriguing as this mash-up sounds, results in something that leaves both these aspects fully unrealised. There’s a lot of ideas in the film – just don’t ask me what any of them were supposed to be. Deeply disturbing, and with just enough visual tantalisations to boast the director’s skill, The Eyes of My Mother is a film that only few could enjoy, or at very least stomach.

Divided into three chapters, we first meet a young Francisca living on an isolated farm with her mother (Dianna Agostini), a former surgeon from Portugal, with a particular penchant for removing cows’ eyeballs. Their quiet lives are interrupted one day by a travelling salesman (Will Brill) with more than commission on his mind, sharply turning the film in a violent and upsetting direction. From there on in, torture, mutilation and death become the norm for the now grown Francisca (Kika Magalhaes), whose yearning for companionship is constantly overridden by her deep fear of the unknown world outside the farmyard and her lingering murderous urges.

For his first feature film, Pesce handles his content with the confidence of a much more seasoned director. Shots are well composed, the movement is smooth, except in places where it is not supposed to be, and he uses the limited colour palette of the monochrome cinematography to its full advantage. Where the film really stands strong, however, is its atmosphere. A consistent level of dread maintained from the first shot. The structure of the film ensures that we are only granted small glances at any one point into the character’s life. And yet, even before the real horror begins, there is a sense that something is not quite right with this family, that there is something strange in their attitude to violence which ultimately informs the person Francisca grows up to be.

The problem is a lot of the issues raised in the film are only ever half-explored. The time-jumps mean that we never really get see the inner-workings of Francisca’s mind or any hint as to her true motivations. Pesce proves that that the inter-mingling of arthouse compositions and classic horror tropes can work on a visual level, but he still has some work to do proving that in can work on a narrative level as well. While it is clear that the alienation of the audience from the events on screen was purposeful to a degree, it can also make at times for a tedious watch. At only 77 minutes long the film does not overstay its welcome, but the abrupt ending give rise to the question whether time wasted on duller moments could have been better utilised for a more substantial climax.

Overall, this is a film that will appeal to fans of horror and the non-squeamish. At the very least this chilling piece of cinema should be acknowledged for deviating from the norm and showing that horror on film should not be confined to cheap jump-scares. However, while diversity in classic genres should be encouraged, it is important to remember that ‘different’ does not always equate to ‘better’.

Ellen Murray

76 minutes

16 See IFCO for details

The Eyes of My Mother is released 24th March 2017

The Eyes of My Mother – Official Website

 

 

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Review: The Salesman

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DIR/WRI: Asghar Farhadi • PRO: Asghar Farhadi, Alexandre Mallet-Guy • DOP: Hossein Jafarian • ED: Hayedeh Safiyari • MUS: Sattar Oraki • CAST: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Babak Karimi, Farid Sajjadi Hosseini.

Critically acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi, whose credits include 2011’s Oscar-winning A Separation, once again holds no punches in stripping back the thin veneer that shields humanity from our most basic instincts in his latest film, The Salesman. A drama simmering with tension, the film at times teeters on the edge of oppressiveness but Farhadi always manages to bring it home to its deeply reflective core. Revenge and justice, violence and forgiveness, men and women, art and reality, tradition and modernism; there’s a lot going on.

Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Alidoosti) Etesami are a married couple acting opposite one another in a production of Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. When forced to evacuate their home due to structural instability in the foundations, the two gladly accept the offer of an apartment from their fellow actor Babak (Karimi), whose previous tenant has just left. Gone in body, but very much still present in the items she left behind in the apartment’s spare bedroom, the couple learn that the mysterious woman who once occupied their home engaged in rather unsavoury nightly activities. Their new neighbours express delight in her leaving, hoping it means no more strange ‘clients’ will be lurking around the building. However, as Rana learns when she’s home alone one night, that is not necessarily the case…

Alidoosti is masterful in her portrayal of living in the aftermath of trauma. Rana can’t bear to be left alone and yet can’t bear to be surrounded by people, subject to their quizzical gazes and obvious pity. As a woman living in Iran, the search for justice through official means proves not only unattractive but potentially treacherous, leaving her suspended in limbo. Rana’s grief is all-encompassing but throughout, Alidoosti’s nuanced performance ensures that her character maintains a quiet inner strength that makes her compulsively watchable. Hosseini also shines as Emad, his pride of his proficiency in the cultured arts starkly contrasted by the intense rage bubbling just beneath the surface. His desire for retribution is born in two parts, both to avenge his wife but also to defend his own masculinity. The attack on her is an attack on himself by extension and, in the face of his crumbling marriage, Emad’s quest to find his wife’s attacker descends into a hunt for revenge. Much like Willy Loman, his theatrical counterpart, Emad is driven by a need to validate himself by obtaining what is in reality a hollow victory.

Instead of closure, the couple, and the audience, are left only with a sense of emptiness by the film’s final scene, but in depicting this failure lies Farhadi’s success. Ultimately, The Salesman is an intelligent and well-balanced film that, much like its characters, has a lot more going on than is apparent on the surface.

Ellen Murray

124 minutes

12A See IFCO for details

The Salesman is released 17th March 2017
The Salesman – Official Website

 

 

 

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Review: Prevenge

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DIR/ WRI: Alice Lowe • PRO: Jennifer Handorf • DOP: Ryan Eddleston • ED: Matteo Bini • DES: Blair Barnette • MUS: Pablo Clements, James Griffith, Toydrum • CAST: Alice Lowe, Jo Hartley, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Kayvan Novak, Tom Davis, Tom Meeten, Marc Bessant

 

Heavily pregnant Ruth (Alice Lowe) is a woman on a mission, and a very unpleasant one at that. Urged on by the taunting of her unborn daughter, Ruth meticulously hunts and violently murders seemingly random victims. At first there is no obvious common ground between these men and women, but as the source of our protagonist’s anguish is gradually revealed to us it becomes evident that revenge is a dish best served bloody and raw, preferably planned in collusion with a fetus maniacally laughing all the while. Savage, twisted and hilarious Prevenge plays with audience expectations in the best way possible by refusing to play it straight.

The question of bodily autonomy and the treatment of pregnant women lie at the core of this film. Ruth’s feelings of paranoia and hallucinations of her child talking to her from within in the womb are compounded by the fact that those around now refuse to see her as an individual being – even her health provider continuously forgoes calling the character by her actual name in favour of a simpering ‘Mummy’, constantly inferring the baby is now all that matters and should dictate her every action, which is the very thing it is doing. Pregnancy in film is often utilised merely as a tool to raise the emotional stakes for the (usually male) protagonist, a symbol of hope and rebirth for characters seeking some form of redemption. Lowe, who wrote, directed and starred in the film while heavily pregnant herself in real life, happily rips down this romantic illusion of childbearing and heavily criticises the oft condescending manner in which expectant mothers are commoditised by both their own doctors and society at large. All the prenatal yoga classes in the world won’t negate Ruth’s ever-growing sense of despair and anger. The nitty-gritty, rough, unpleasant sides of pregnancy, in particular pre-natal depression, are thrust into the centre of this story with a perception so sharp it could only have come from a person who has experienced it. That is not to say the film is dedicated to hard-hitting realism; indeed, the story exists in a unique realm of absurdity that provides genuine laughs alongside genuine shock and horror.  In any resembling reality, Ruth’s murder spree would be cut short very quickly, but then we wouldn’t have our story.

All cast members deliver strong performances though, of course, this is very much Lowe’s film. Her turn as the psychotic Ruth is finely measured and contains a delicious mix of deadpan line deliveries and over-the-top physical acting. There is a great deal of gore sprinkled throughout the film, but never in a manner that feels gratuitous. Ruth’s external violence is simply a very literal expression of her deep, internal anguish. All the same, some viewers may find it difficult to watch.

Overall, Prevenge is a breath of fresh air, breaking with tradition by providing a distinctly feminine revenge tale that doesn’t skimp on the violence or laughs.

Ellen Murray

88 minutes

16 See IFCO for details

Prevenge is released 10th February 2017

Prevenge – Official Website

 

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