“The Beguiled” Review

17 July, 2017

Director: Sofia Coppola
Screenwriter: Sofia Coppola
Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd
Cast: 
Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst

Synopsis: A wounded soldier gone AWOL during the Civil War discovers hospitality at a girls boarding school but his presence as the only male on the lot stirs up trouble after a destructive form of sexual conflict grows between the seminary’s eldest females.

The Beguiled Review:

A warped period drama written over half a century ago and still deftly novelic in execution, “The Beguiled” is a quiet thriller, placating viewers with the joys of dark comedy while throwing a helpless antagonist into living hell at the expense of his precious limbs. Still heavily implied to be of great literary standing yet almost entirely unpleasant as a work of delicate fiction, the film is styled like a sinister Brontë romance with its ” Wuthering Heights” inspiration seeking only the wickedness in its seven females who vary in age but unite in their demand for self-preservation at all costs.

Momentarily sympathetic towards its key players but always on the lookout for the consequences of their deepest and darkest desires, “The Beguiled” catches Sofia Coppola at her most cynical, rejecting most of her trademark nostalgia and building to an ephemeral and nefariously haunting moment of striking juxtaposition between mercy and murder. Although most haunting when standing on the doorstep of sanctuary, “The Beguiled” bears undertones of sex and violence throughout its stripped narrative, suggesting an ugliness beneath corsets and sewing insults into injuries before a single word has been exchanged.

Despite feeling removed from the unspoken compassion of Coppola’s early years, “The Beguiled” is an exercise in tonal manipulation, thriving on the supposed innocence of a cooped up clan of women and tricking unsuspecting viewers into rooting for a set of skewed ethics. Rediscovering Nicole Kidman at her iciest and Kirsten Dunst at her most vulnerable yet disastrously tempered, “The Beguiled” understands the function held by actors of varying maturity and this is adequately reflected in a screenplay built on the friction between innocence and sexual prowess. Ultimately ravaged by a lack of consequence, the film poses a moral question about the fine line between danger and delusion, struggling to justify its bitter finale yet revelling in every second of it.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
The Beguiled
Rating
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