Lately I've been having an issue with really being able to focus on movies, which is weird right? But there are a few I thought are interesting enough to talk about. Interesting more on a cerebral level than any emotional one, but oh well, you can't have everything.
One thing, though, is that there was so much yelling and hot tempers which made the film kind of a chore to watch. I just wanted everyone to be quiet! But apparently these growing, shifting, changing emotions are what so many people liked about the film? I don't know. Also, like the caretaker seemed like the kind of person from the start that I would have wanted to stay away from, she seemed very manipulative and desperate which is an explosive combination. So it's not exactly surprising what happened. Anyway, I think the structure of the film works, because of how much you are wondering what happened along with all the other people. And...how you have a certain selection of evidence that may make you think one thing, but just because that's what you have access to, does that mean that there's nothing else? Hmmm now that I'm writing about this, I can kind of see why people think this film is particularly good, because of the character dynamics and how this tense situation forces a lot of things out to the surface. In fact, I'd say this quote is a pretty accurate description of the film, "The plots are deeply entangling, with powerless characters unexpectedly pulled into a quagmire of circumstances beyond their control – but not over-the-top Mount Rushmore-climbing sorts of circumstances, just the gut-slamming mundanities of everyday life: these characters get mired in their pathetic humanity and trying to get out, only get in deeper." I just wish I had enjoyed it more. Curious to hear what anyone else thinks!
this is the list she makes before heading out. I think the idea of going and doing something is really romanticized in her mind. But it's worth noting that she thinks she can get out, she's not yet beaten down by poverty and despair. The other thing is that she's supposed to be really super attractive. I think even though she's young, she's developed and supposed to be appealing to men, because like...EVERY man in the film, with one exception, wants her.
So she heads out and meets a guy in a truck and they get along for a bit until they have a fight and then he leaves her by the side of the road. And she meets Glenda, then, a young woman who figures out rather quickly that her situation is not a good one. And when Luli describes the guy, Glenda says, "there's a reason mamas tell their babies to stay away from men like that." I bring this up because what happens at the end of the film seems to surprise a lot of people, but I think it's tipped off here. Anyways, Glenda and Luli end up at this guy's house who employs, Eddie, the guy from the truck. Glenda can see that her new man is interested in Luli, so she tries to distract him. Eddie takes advantage of the situation by playing a trick on Luli and getting her to leave with him. This is never apparently clear to the viewer, though. Anyway, some stuff happens that continues to make Eddie seem awful and by the end Luli rejects him and so he goes after her, rapes her, and ties her up in a cabin. And you're thinking it's going to end all horribly, but it turns out the same thing happened to Glenda and she's come after Luli. An accident ensues, both Eddie and Glenda end up dead, but the guys who owns the cabin comes and helps Luli clean it up and offers for her to go to his sister in California. Luli turns him down, but as she gets on the bus and looks through her drawings, she sees one of Glenda which convinces her to go after this new life after all. And...that's what I liked? I liked the ending, the idea that Glenda's sacrifice and friendship made it possible for Luli, after surviving a terrible ordeal, to still believe that there was something more than what waited at home for her. But trust me, despite this hopeful message, the film is largely a mess, with weird flashbacks about her deceased brother, people acting badly, it fails as a road movie, I don't know...it's just not good, despite the redemptive ending.
film club! (Susanne Bier also directed the Danish Brothers which I want to see, since I quite liked the American version)
I feel like this movie is really different because it never ends up being what you think it's going to be about. It starts out in India and this guy is working in India at an orphanage and has an opportunity to raise funds for the orphanage, but first he has to go to Denmark and meet with the benefactor in person...but that opens up a situation that surprises him, there are more people on competition for the grant. Before making a decision, he's invited the wedding of the daughter of the businessman offering the funds and he makes some really startling discoveries there that lead to more big discoveries. Basically this is a movie about love and family and responsibility and it's both interesting and heartbreaking. So I just wanted to mention it again as a recommendation if you're looking for something good on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
If you've seen any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts!