Thursday, May 8, 2014

Under the Skin - Review

UNDER THE SKIN is the most boldest movie so far of 2014. It actively unnerves the viewer, offering up a world with no explanations and several scenarios that can be hard to watch. Revealing the plot will spoil the act of fully engaging with this peculiar film so I will be very brief: Two unknown entities, a raven-haired woman (Scarlett Johansson) and her male motorcyclist ally, are stalking the streets of Scotland. Director Jonathan Glazer relishes being a Kubrick doppelgänger here, delivering sensory-explosive visuals that are fueled by misanthropy and existential dread. He loves to utilize a simple but deviant horror editing scheme, programming the tempo to move at a slow crawl until unleashing a ghastly fright on the off note. Similar to his previous standout feature SEXY BEAST, this movie gear-shifts at halftime, preventing a repetitious plot from further spreading in order to explore uncharted waters. Unfortunately, also exactly like that film, I was not entirely enamored by this sudden departure. The second half retains an interesting mystery of human engagement but I feel that many will balk at this point, turning off their brains by the tedious-like pacing towards the inevitably sour conclusion. That is, if they are not already spurned by the heavy Scottish accents and murmured dialogue. Regardless of this story decision, I was fully blown away by the film's lack of didacticism, forcing the viewer to seek alternative views of its product; I would gladly like to converse about whether or not this film is an enlightened offspring of a certain landmark body horror movie. Perfectly suited to supplement the script, the experimental nature of the musical score, crafted by the Mica Levi, expands upon the film's disturbing bleakness and inescapable isolation. Johansson gives a tour-de-force performance while set at minimal levels. The openness of her eyes bestows a slow evolution of her character, especially in the moments where nothing is verbally stated. She's very naked throughout the picture, both literally and figuratively, and expertly handles the character's plight of personal identity. Though I am quite stung by the swift reversal in the story, I do believe that UNDER THE SKIN will mature with age and benefit those you want to see film in its purest art form.


No comments:

Post a Comment