Directed by Jonathan Glazer, staring Scarlett Johansson and following the story of a woman who seduces men by the roadside late at night in Scotland.
Jonathan Glazer is a uniquely powerful director whose skills within films are outstanding and yet for some reason I had never heard of him. His only other piece of well-known work is the critically acclaimed Sexy beast. I was absolutely in awe of this film; both from a narrative point and from its production values.
Some might compare this to a film like Drive in the way little is said yet the film narrative and photography speaks volumes, I feel this is somewhat better performed. Set in Scotland, Johansson’s character drives around picking on isolated men and easy targets to bring back to her ‘nest’. For me what was so striking about this film is it IS connected to some of the best and oldest stories; the mythology is quite clear with its connection to Sirens.
Sirens are mythological creatures from Greek stories. They existed out in the ocean and would seduce sailors passing by with their irresistible, however once the men dived into the water to swim to their prize the rock and rough seas would kill them. The sirens themselves would be beautiful voluptuous desirable women. Johansson is the perfect fit for such a character, with an hourglass shape and a very alluring English accent.
For a film containing a large amount of nudity, both male and female, it is refreshing that none of them are flaunting huge built bodies, instead they are all more realistic then we have seen in recent Hollywood years.
The filming itself is fantastic because it is so simple; these are not state of the art cameras but simple cameras filming incredibly familiar scenes around Scotland, thus drawing you in.
The narrative of the film relies heavily on the audience being able to interpret correctly what is happening as the script is kept to a minimal with rare moments of speech. This proves effortless because of the mystery surrounding the events at the beginning you want to know more and understands. Though towards the end it begins to tire and comes to a close becoming dull and repetitive.
Johansson is mesmerising in this, showing her true skill as an actress by being able to hold the audience physically with her acting.
I won’t pretend I understand everything that happened, though my comprehension of the film was adequate for my own enjoyment but for such a complex film I feel a lot of it should be left to debate and interpretation.
OVERALL***** An outstanding piece of cinema, that was unexpected
RECOMMENDATION – This is not for everyone. Some of the scenes people may find too horrific to watch, though not violent it is the implications that horrify you. For a film lover, this is definite must watch as the skills presented here are fascinating.