Review of the movie Sanctuary (Sanctuary). Margaret Qualley in a psychological thriller

the movie privacy, from a single-location psychological thriller focused on the idea of ​​”dominion”, to an unexpected romance; But along the way, it suffers from the problem of viewing angle.

the movie privacyIt is off to a promising start. The story of the film is about a rich boy who, after his father’s death, is about to be promoted to the CEO of their big family company. He has invited a young woman to his room in a hotel for a job-related interview; But the conversation between the two does not go according to plan… It quickly becomes clear that there is another meaning and reason hidden in this meeting. The gradual course of presenting information, according to the model of a mystery film, turns the understanding of the characters’ true motives and the nature of events into the audience’s mental engagement.

The film is smart to introduce its two main characters, Hal (Christopher Abbott) and Rebecca (Margaret Qualley), and enters the story through a mysterious show door, intertwined with “role-playing”. In a limited location, relying on the energetic performance of Quali, Abbott’s deliberately restrained and introverted acting, attractive dialogue writing, comic tone and erotic mood, it attracts the attention of the audience and surprises them by revealing the initial story.

The continuation of the text reveals the details of the film’s story

The problems of the film, however, appear with the early separation of the two characters, Rebecca leaving the room and then her return. After staring at Hel’s family photo board in the hallway, the young girl gets lost in thought and returns to the rich boy with a new idea. He reproaches Hel for his dependence on his father’s words and suddenly claims that the boy could not independently prepare himself to succeed his father. Because of this, Rebekah demands a huge amount from Hel and threatens him with extortion. At this point in the narrative, the audience is faced with a basic question: which character’s story is this?

Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott in front of a red wall in a scene from the film Hareem directed by Zachary Wigan

The main problem of narration privacyremoving the element of empathy from the dramatic flow of events

privacyIt starts with cardamom. In the opening of the film, one of those unnecessary 180-degree rotating shots that Zachary Vigen considered to add variety to the visual language of his work depicts the character in solitude and waiting. Rebekah’s arrival also takes the form of an unknown stranger entering Hel’s world. After the revelation of Emma’s story, the script of Mika Blomberg stays with Rebecca this time and it seems that we are witnessing a transition in the perspective of the narrative. This idea is confirmed when we leave the room with Rebecca and return to it with her. What seemed to be the story of a rich man and his “mental” need to receive a special form of sexual service turns into the story of a young worker’s daughter who must claim her due from her ungrateful employer. But how much does this perception relate to what we watch?

The problem here is that Rebecca’s strange action and sudden decision will never find an acceptable justification for us. We don’t know the character enough to figure out the psychological background of his motivation, nor is his unreasonable demand any different from a typical extortion case. As far as we are concerned, we are faced with a greedy person who, as soon as he loses his attractive job position, thinks of playing under the table, and as if he was unaware of the terms of their previous agreement, he abuses his close relationship with a vulnerable employer under false pretenses and for the purpose of profit. When the narration puts us on the same front with such a character and puts us in front of a relatively polite and calm person, we don’t know how we should feel about the course of events.

Margaret Qualley talking to Christopher Abbott in a scene from the film Hareem directed by Zachary Wigan

Both sides of this show prefer the alternate reality created in their safe space to the outside reality

The main problem of narration privacy, removing the element of empathy from the dramatic flow of events. With the aim of forming a romantic conclusion of the narrative, Vigen and Blomberg do not want to make Hel a hateful antagonist; Therefore, the height of Rebecca’s independent science against him and her inherited wealth never fully engages the audience’s emotions. On the other hand, the text does not want to reveal Rebecca’s main and deeply romantic motivation for her decisions (the best and most sympathetic idea of ​​the film) until the climax of the narrative. What the developers are looking for is to delay the unveiling of their biggest asset; In the hope that the resulting “surprise” will bring the experience of watching the movie to a satisfactory peak for the audience.

As a result, not only when faced with the idea of ​​blackmailing Rebecca, we do not have the least common understanding with him, but in order to fill the empty space between the important parts of the text, Vigen executes that long and extra chapter of Hel looking for the hidden camera, with a tasteless visual disturbance and throws the film off the rhythm to such an extent that the decision to stop watching it is justified! Faced with Rebecca’s new and crazy desire, instead of injecting new energy into the film, it gives the impression that the text has exhausted all its ideas and inevitably ends up dead.

Christopher Abbott with a stunned face in a scene from the film Hareem directed by Zachary Wigan

privacyIt is an interesting film to watch because of this boldness in reaching from its familiar trailer-like appearance to a tone similar to a screwball comedy.

The climax of the script and the idea of ​​Rebecca’s love for Hel Emma saves the film before it completely collapses. Now, ironically, everything we needed to care about the events of the film and understand the girl’s motivation is given in one place near the end. It turns out that the “privacy” resulting from the alternate reality born of the joint show of the two characters, was not only in the service of solving the mental complexes of the injured boy, and Rebecca also found something in this game that was denied to her in the world and in real life. A love so intense that he considers the serious relationship of his “real” life a betrayal, and a situation so attractive that he quits his job because of it. In a meaningful way, both sides of this show prefer the alternate reality created in their safe space to the external reality; With the difference that Rebecca sacrificed her real life by committing to this desirable shelter!

It makes sense that the two characters decide to switch places at the end. Although this idea, with its exaggerated nature, seems simplistic, it does not seem out of place in relation to the story of the film. Hel comes to the conclusion that free from his father’s expectations, he has never had the talent to lead a large company and the life under domination is more suitable for his inner self! Rebecca also gets a chance to channel her desire for dominance into a relevant career in the real world.

The relationship of the management of a large company with the idea of ​​domination is, of course, ironic, and the reversal of gender roles (with a sharp amendment in the form of attributing the traditional description of women’s duties in marriage to “slavery”) appears to be culturally intelligent. The romance of the text comes to a happy ending and the orchestral music of Ariel Marks returns with a sweet melody. privacy, because of this boldness in reaching from its familiar trailer-like appearance to a tone similar to a screwball comedy, it is an interesting film to watch. Even if the wrong narrative decisions and unbalanced rhythm prevent the work from fully exploiting the capacity of its ideas.

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