Review: Alice, Darling
Alice, Darling (2023)
R ‧ Psychological Drama/Thriller ‧ 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Written by Alanna Francis
Directed by Mary Nighy
Anna Kendrick, Kaniehtiio Horn, Charlie Carrick, and Wunmi Mosaku.
(In their own words) In ALICE, DARLING, Oscar® nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) is Alice in this taut thriller about a woman pushed to the breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon. While on vacation with two close girlfriends, Alice rediscovers the essence of herself and gains some much-needed perspective. Slowly, she starts to fray the cords of codependency that bind her. But Simon’s vengeance is as inevitable as it is shattering – and, once unleashed, it tests Alice’s strength, her courage, and the bonds of her deep-rooted friendships.
The BEST things about the film
- Seeing Anna Kendrick in a very different role. I haven’t seen her do this emotional of a role before, one where she gets to dive into a character that is suffering from her current extremely unhealthy relationship. I think she does a fine job.
- It jumps right in the middle of Alice’s story. You don’t see a lot of films that choose to do this part of an emotionally abusive story. Usually you see the start of the relationship and watch some of the time together and then watch them get out. Which really rushes the film. By starting with her in the midst of it, you are forced to focus on the after effects of the relationship without concern about why she got into it in the first place. It’s a refreshingly different choice for this type of movie and makes it stand out from the trappings of an often-told story.
- The intimacy of the film. This is a small cast. I really enjoy watching films with not a lot of actors as the main focus. There are other people in the film, but they are incidental interactions. This film gives a lot of opportunity for the actors to really play and act off of each other in longer scenes.
The WORST things about the Film
- We never really get a chance to find out “why”. We want to know why Alice got into this situation and the steps it took to find herself in it. We get hints about what she was like before, but never learn what attracted her to Simon in the first place. In this type of film, we as the audience are looking for a clear lesson or warning that others can take away to not end up in the situation. But this isn’t a film that shows us the red flags early on, we are already in battle when the film starts.
- The film tries to bill itself as a thriller, but the way it plays out, it really feels more like a psychological drama. A lot of the ‘thrill” of it is a misdirection from the marketing and trailer. While Alice is definitely heightened in her nervousness and intensity, I wouldn’t call the film or story itself a thriller.
Friendships remind you of not just who you were, but how safe you feel when you are able to be yourself.
IS IT REWATCHABLE
THE FINAL WORD
Anna Kendrick does a fine job in an unexpected role playing a woman trying to reconnect with friends while in the midst of an emotionally abusive relationship. The film is very honest, accurate, tense, and at times, uncomfortable to watch. While it isn’t a profound film, its importance lies in seeing the trauma that this kind of relationship can have on someone. The film will be very triggering for some but possibly cathartic in watching a shared experience. There’s a lot to like about this film; the writing, the performances, yet somehow I ended feeling like I only got half a story. I’m unsure whether that is the fault of the script or the fault of my expectations for what the story should be.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
Alice, Darling gets a Like It.
THE MEME REVIEW
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