Women Talking (2022): Drama

In 2010, women of an isolated religious community gathered together to decide their faith as well as their children’s.

The title accurately describes what the film delivers. Sarah Polley deserves every award she’s got and every award she eventually didn’t. As an actress, writer, and director, she has managed to stay on top of her game, and Women Talking took her once more to the Oscars. Other than herself, there is a lot of talent gathered in the film. Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, and the rest of the cast shine in front of the camera and deliver Oscar-worthy performances. For a single-location film, it is well-paced, and director of photography Luc Montpellier frames those performances in a spectacular manner. So, from a filmmaking point of view, it is a great achievement.

My objections lie with the narrative itself. I am not aware of the real story behind the script, but it felt like a feminist version of 12 Angry Men (1957). Sticking only to Miriam Toews and Polley’s script, here’s how I experienced it: All men are monsters, and all boys will end up probably like their fathers. The only exception is the man who records the events, August (the amazing Ben Whinshaw), who can be described as unopinionated, spineless, castrated, or mentally inept. According to the film, that is a good man!

On the other hand, all women are dynamic and highly opinionated, and even though they don’t know how to read or write, they are as eloquent, if not more, than August who has graduated from the University. You work out how someone who has never read a book in their life can argue in such depth and academic level philosophical and sociopolitical issues such as existentialism, history of religion, the difference between God and what people say about God, gender roles, behaviourism, and education. I praise the actresses for their eloquence, but if that is not head-scratching, I don’t know what is.

Ultimately, how much you are into these fields of study will define if you’re going to love it or loathe it. I did neither, but due to how arguments and counter-arguments are structured, I most certainly found it profound and intriguing.

As much as I love films, I live in the real world and get to see that men, women, and non-binary people have the capacity to physically and mentally heal and harm one another – no exceptions! Let’s just do more of the former rather than the latter.

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Solidarity for Ukraine 🇺🇦 🙏

Stay safe!

Men (2022): Drama/Horror/Sci-fi

After her husband commits suicide, a young woman escapes to the countryside only to encounter horrors she would never expect.

A24… The production company that aims at the different, the radical, the unconventional. Starting off with Harper (Jessie Buckley) and only getting a glimpse of what is hunting her, we take the trip straight to the countryside where she’ll be residing for two weeks – that is the plan, anyway. Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear), the house owner with British-English you’ll definitely admire and will put a smile on your face, shows her around, and so, the main players and environment have been established. But…

The first plot point, the beautiful yet extremely scary tunnel, instigates the thrill; it is where your heart will skip the first beat. From then on, the naked man, the troubled kid, the eccentric Vicar, the police’s incompetence, and everything that happens till the end Act II escalates the horror to the next level. Not a lot can be explained but that’s what enhances the mystery. The eerie and haunting operatic music throughout the montage sequences will keep you at the very edge of your seats, inarguably, mouth agape. “Paranoia” doesn’t even begin to describe it! Beware of the entities presented inside the church. Also, beware of the dandelions as well. Both of them play a significant role to the narrative’s understanding. And this is where I stop.

Alex Garland, the writer/director of Ex-Machina (2014) and Annihilation (2018) and writer of 28 Days Later (2002) and Never Let me Go (2010) is not a crowd-pleaser, and, consequently, is not for everyone. His lens serves his narrative well, offering realistic thrills to surrealistic scenarios – from alien invasions to men going utterly berserk. Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear absolutely shine in front of the camera!

If you are not British or not accustomed to British folkloric tales and myths, you’ll be utterly confused. If you are, you’ll get the gist, but won’t be able to explain it, anyway. And that’s the goal. In an attempt to find answers, I only got more confused so, as intended by the filmmakers, I only provided a few possible explanations to myself – without meaning that they are the right ones. Because there is no right one.

Please, don’t forget to share, and subscribe. If you enjoy my work and dedication to films, please feel free to support me on https://www.patreon.com/kaygazpro. Any contribution is much appreciated and valued.

Solidarity for Ukraine 🇺🇦 🙏

Stay safe!

P.S. In reality, in the English countryside, you will encounter the most beautiful places and the most beautiful people.