Review of God’s Creatures movie Ignoring a disaster

the movie God’s creaturesIt is a boring and slow-burning drama that tries to see a familiar subject from a new angle. Stay tuned with Zumji reviews.

Cinematic works focusing on sexual abuse usually choose two experienced paths to deal with the central issue: either they focus on the event itself and show the painful truth of the victim’s catastrophic experience, or they highlight his effort to get rid of the terrible shadow of the resulting trauma. The first way is generally associated with a male point of view and a kind of additional drama that aims to “watch” the disaster. The second path usually focuses on a more realistic female point of view, and gives credit to the victim’s life experience more delicately (both propositions are based on the assumption that we are talking about a man assaulting a woman).

This is a film about the mother of an abuser and the complex moral situation she experiences as a result of her beloved son’s despicable act.

The co-production of Cilla Davis and Anna Rose Holmer, however, takes a third route. Instead of paying attention to the two sides of the central disaster, or even portraying the event itself, it gives priority to the surrounding environment, the aggressor’s relatives and how they face the difficult challenge of accepting the truth of his inhuman act. This is a film about the mother of a rapist; and the complex moral situation he experiences as a result of the despicable act of his beloved son.

Before focusing on mother Emma, God’s creatures It tries to create a historical/cultural context for the central events of the story. This tendency can be found both in the slow rhythm of the film and the focus of its visual language on the geography of the environment through numerous open shots used to illustrate the long introduction of the narrative, and in the way the script connects three different generations of men and women in the village to each other, new events. sees an echo of past events. The story of women who have to live with the voices of the ghosts of the past, and men who drown but never learn to swim.

The clever removal of the main event that Shane Crowley did in writing the screenplay makes sense in relation to this idea. In the traditional small Irish village where the events of the story take place, a crime like rape, with the intuitive nature of its proof, is just as invisible after its occurrence; As if it never happened. And the situation that Eileen (played by Emily Watson) has enough dramatic depth for that very reason. He seeks to deny something that is not too difficult to pretend does not happen. From the court that considers the mother’s testimony to be sufficient to prove her son’s innocence, to the socio-cultural context of anti-victimism that does not allow the slightest pause or hesitation in confirming the popular narrative. Eileen has no obstacle in front of her to ignore the truth; Except for your honor.

Emily Watson standing in front of a crowd in a scene from God's Creatures directed by Cilla Davis and Anna Rose Holmer

The fact that he ultimately neither makes the right decision nor denies his false testimony contributes significantly to the complexity of the film’s moral system. The woman has enough reasons to slip morally. It is not an easy situation. One side is his son and the other side is the innocent girl who works for him. But his more tendency to save his son is not something we don’t understand. Apart from the blood relation, we have seen the very good relationship of these two many times, and the recent return of Brian (Paul Meskal) also made their last short connection more valuable. So it is natural that Ilein does not want to poison herself with this newly ripened sweetness at once. But still nothing in his behavior convinces us. It’s like he’s limping somewhere.

Ideas alone are not enough. If there were, we would not need to write a script. There is a gap between a brilliant idea and a brilliant film. It is possible to waste the high dramatic capacity and special cinematic possibility of a good plot by placing it in an irrelevant structural context. And it is possible to lose some interesting situations between the wrong timing of the narrative and the incomplete network of the characters’ relationships. God’s creatures For this reason, it fails to fully exploit its potential.

By reducing the long introduction of the film, the original and deleted event could be used as a driving idea, and then attention should be paid to branching out the dimensions of the surrounding people’s encounter with it.

Shane Crowley’s screenplay is too late to get to the main idea. By reducing the lengthy introduction of the film, the original and deleted event could be used as a driving idea, and then attention should be paid to branching out the dimensions of the surrounding people’s encounter with it. But Crowley’s choice was to delay the maximum of the first turning point; This is not a new initiative, and the success or failure of the film in its implementation, comes back to the nature of what we witness in the long introduction. And the relationship that this section finds with the overall experience of watching the movie.

Although the first third of the film succeeds admirably in introducing the characters and their relationships, as well as creating a dark and cold atmosphere (thanks to Chase Irwin’s excellent cinematography), the sum total of the film is not enough to justify its length. Apart from connecting to the past, and getting to know the mother-son relationship, in this part of the narrative, we learn that Sarah (played by Ashling Franchosi in an exaggerated way) has an unhealthy relationship with an abusive partner. Later, he spends another bitter experience with Brian and at the end he tells about his bad-tempered father. What does this text idea mean? That Sarah is the inevitable victim and has never seen and will never see happiness? That the whole identity of the character is to stare into a corner with a sad look and a melancholic tone, smoke a cigarette and utter a few pessimistic philosophical sentences about the world and the nature of human existence?

Ashling Franchosi vs. Emily Watson in a scene from God's Creatures directed by Cilla Davis and Anna Rose Holmer

Had we been dealing with a better film, the character’s internal conflict with his values, both in relation to his blind support of the boy and his close relationship with the young woman he works for, could have resulted in much more dramatic complexity.

The main problem here is that the film does not take advantage of the central moral challenge itself after reaching the expected turning point. Eileen lies as soon as she is confronted with her son’s accusation, and repeats this lie without hesitation in court. If we were faced with a better film, the character’s internal conflict with his values, whether in relation to his blind support of the boy, or his close relationship with the young woman who works for him, could have resulted in much more dramatic complexity; But here, everything passes quickly and except for things like the character’s solitude at night in the kitchen, and his low-key stare at Sarah in the traditional ceremony, we have no sign of Eileen’s inner turmoil. The cinematic expression of the film in the two mentioned examples is too simple to convey an original feeling or understanding to the audience.

Brian’s self-abandonment, which Eileen finally gives in to at the end, although thematically appropriate to the past experience, and adding a certain symbolic quality to the film in relation to the theme of toxic masculinity, is independent of its cynicism with the death of another boy of this kind. The village at the beginning of the narrative, when we put it next to the realism of the rest of the moments, it seems too dramatic.

Paul Meskal leans against an upturned boat smoking a cigarette in a harbor sunset in a scene from God's Creatures directed by Cilla Davis and Anna Rose Holmer.

The ending of the film and the summary of the narrative, as a kind of revelation about what this story was really about, does not have enough weight, it is reductionist in a sense, it is inelegant and gross in its delivery, and its final optimism seems imposed and irrelevant. Ending the story with a focus on Sarah and her future would have been the right choice for another film, and it seems like two different ideas collided during the writing of the script. that instead of giving in to the current corrupt order, one can once and for all break the shackles of the safe border of the deterrence and reach new horizons.

Davies and Holmer put their camera inside the car of the story’s sad girl, and invite the audience to witness the dawn of a new chapter in her life. In a continuous and long scene, the dust of disappointment and disgust gradually disappears from his face and gives way to a smile that we can hardly see a trace of on his face. However, it is not strange if the audience’s mind at this moment is occupied with the middle-aged woman who is sitting behind the girl and in the disregard of the creators, alone and sad inside a half-empty house, and must forever deal with the loss of her sinful son, and with the sin that she hoped to protect He has committed to live.

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