Monday, April 14, 2014
Review - Under the Skin
I think I might have a new favorite film. I am astonished by how much I liked Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin. It seeped into me and a week after seeing it I'm still lost in a haze of its brilliant images and inventive storytelling. Glazer proves yet again how singular his vision is.
The film is told from the point of view of an alien (played by Scarlet Johansson in their human form) who comes to Earth on a vague mission. She lands in Glasgow and proceeds to pick up men and lure them to her dungeon-like place where they vanish in a big black liquid like pit. Why she needs them is never explained. She might have a handler or a supervisor who sometimes follows her; we are not sure. And the movie doesn't care to explain. It's more interested in the alien learning about being human and discovering emotions that didn't exist before. Strictly sticking to her POV the movie never wavers or tries to explain its plot. No exposition just methodically exploring this particular entity's story. This might be infuriating if you were looking for a cohesive plot.
The images are eerily stark, not exactly conventionally beautiful. The camera explores Earth from this very alien view. Even the streets and people look slightly off, as if I was seeing such shapes for the very first time. One of the reasons why the movie is so brilliant. I don't think I have seen anything like this before. It's a movie that I suspect will reward on multiple viewings and I can't wait to see it again.