Attractive visuals make the surprising drama Swallow go down simple
Picture: IFC Movies
Though it’s a reductive assertion, calling Swallow a high-class model of My Unusual Dependancy isn’t completely inaccurate. Its heroine, rich housewife Hunter (Haley Bennett), suffers from a uncommon consuming dysfunction known as pica, which compels her to swallow small, non-food objects, the sharper and extra damaging to her inside organs the higher. Quickly after discovering out she’s pregnant, Hunter begins with a stunning little glass marble, then ranges as much as thumbtacks, jacks, a double-A battery, and handfuls of filth, amongst different tchotchkes. The movie comprises a number of scenes of Bennett doubled over in ache in immaculately appointed loos, as her terminally meek, deeply repressed character subconsciously punishes herself for perceived sins that received’t grow to be evident till later. These sins, together with Bennett’s efficiency, are what make Swallow greater than only a fantastically shot freak present—although the visuals don’t harm both.
Swallow marks writer-director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ characteristic debut, and his command of coloration and composition is spectacular for a newcomer. Cinematographer Katelin Arizmendi equally involves Swallow with just one characteristic movie below her belt—although she’s since been snapped up as second-unit DP on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which says lots about her ability degree. Collectively, Mirabella-Davis and Arizmendi body Swallow with coolly composed, completely centered mise en scène, complemented by a pervasive coloration scheme of rosy blush and verdant inexperienced and contrasted with the occasional surprising intrusion of the messy realities of the human physique. The feel of Hunter’s silk pajamas and cashmere sweaters additionally comes by fantastically on display; if her modernist, glass-walled home is a psychological jail, not less than it’s an expensive one.
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Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Denis O’Hare, Laura Dias
Choose theaters March 6
The Female Mystique side of Hunter’s warped insurrection towards life as a pampered however patronized incubator for her CEO husband Richie (Austin Stowell as a prototypical trust-fund asshole) is maybe the least fascinating factor about Swallow, as lushly portrayed as it could be. Mirabella-Davis does extract some efficient cringe comedy out of Hunter’s plight. “I like diets!” one in all Richie’s coworkers exclaims with a frozen smile on her face when he tells her he’s put his spouse on a juicing regime. And the gradual escalation of Richie and his stuffed-shirt dad and mom’ psychological abuse is efficient in ratcheting up the viewers’s sense of paranoia alongside Hunter’s. This pressure is enhanced by the movie’s immersive sound design, which places the sound of small metallic objects clinking on spotless glass counter tops within the entrance of the combination—and the entrance of viewers’ minds—as we squirm with anticipation of what Hunter is about to do with that stitching needle.
Picture: IFC Movies
Dramatically, the movie actually shifts into gear midway by, in an prolonged dialogue scene the place Hunter casually drops an earth-shattering revelation to her therapist, Dr. Santos (Laura Dias), prefacing it with, “It’s important to promise you’re not going to make a giant deal about it.” Revealing the content material of this revelation can be a disservice to potential viewers of the movie, so suffice to say that it’s not essentially any extra relatable than feeling like your idle upper-class existence is slowly suffocating you to demise. Nevertheless it does give Bennett the chance to start exhibiting the cracks in her character’s creepily placid floor, earlier than exploding with righteous fury and newfound self-determination in a climactic scene reverse veteran character actor Denis O’Hare. That’s whenever you understand that you simply’ve gone from seeing Hunter as an unique oddity into rooting for her as a totally fashioned human being—an arc not in contrast to the character’s personal.