“Una” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

28 December, 2017

Director: Benedict Andrews
Screenwriter: David Harrower
Director of Photography: Thimios Bakatakis
Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed

Synopsis: A woman taken advantage of by an older man relives a traumatic experience from her childhood, tracking down her abuser in his place of work and forcing him to admit to his heinous errors in judgement.

Una Review:

A stunted and stagey drama with a commitment to preserving the essence of a theatre production, “Una” utilises the structure of cinema but refuses to make the full transition from stage to screen, relying on a string of key interactions to carry an hour and a half of back-and-forth agitation without becoming dependent on music, close-ups, and expansive set pieces. Sexually frustrated and sympathetically inclined, the movie toys with the overlapping moods of cinema but never fully grasps its potential, becoming insular and introverted as shyness undercuts a genuine proclivity for experimentation.

The result of a headstrong screenplay with naïve underpinnings, “Una” is mature in some ways but undeveloped in others, matching the distress of a young protagonist who hasn’t figured out the significance of her own backstory. Unkeen to take the “Mysterious Skin” route while hiding behind doors and veils of darkness, the movie becomes controversially ambiguous, inhabiting the torturous space between detestation and desire while failing to cut deep into the crux of its subject matter.

Addressing the issue of consent and the fine line between pubescence and adulthood, “Una” bares all in its latter years but struggles to grapple with the past, unable to expose the details as inference bulks out the unshowable. Understandably limited while a clear example of the many challenges of visual subtlety, the movie rarely justifies the actions of a man tempted by an underage girl, rendering his life-changing decision neither outright evil nor an affectionate misunderstanding while leaving a foul taste in everyone’s mouth along with a bad case of indigestion.


Review Date