Reading the reviews this is clearly a love it or hate it movie. Since it is clearly cerebral vs. your typical Hollywood scare flick I'm seeing a lot of reviews by people who would say for instance, that Bergman's Seventh Seal is a POS. For me it was, well, different, but not really what I was hoping for - maybe something like a David Lynch movie, but this just didn't connect with me or come close to a work by Lynch. There was just so little going on that you could do anything but guess about. Maybe if I was in an altered state or suffering from some kind of psychosis I'd find a connection. PS. There is a lot of dialog that is just about unintelligible. I'm a native British English speaker and there's some really thick accents combined with poor sound quality that make it very challenging. It turns out that a bunch of scenes were filmed renegade style with non-actors and put in the movie later when those people gave consent. Obviously the audio equipment for those conversations was less than great.
The thinnest of plots... decorated with infrequent and stilted dialogue... one woman collects johns in her van, leading them one by one to her den of... dream sequences of flooded basement. What does it all mean... it means we have a director who believes that all things obtuse presented at a glacial pace must be considered art. If pretension is your thing, five stars then. For everyone else... (An extra star has been awarded to Scarlett Johansson for her performance... it takes an amazing actor to commit to a role this monumentally uninteresting and still deliver).
If you do not enjoy abstract or off-beat films do not bother with this one. Manage your expectations. I, however, am drawn to this sort of film. I like Aronofsky's early work, Lynch, Kubrick, Godard. This fits in well with all of these in both direction and concept. There is scant dialogue, no "action," a disjointed narrative that has more questions than answers, very creepy, and even the nudity is anything but sexy. So why do I love this film? It is beautifully directed. The themes are provocative and require you do participate in the story. You have to be awake to watch a film like this. It isn't passive, but active. Under the Skin is both a metaphor for the deepest parts of what makes us human both in body and in mind and the very "meat" that we are made of. Inside/outside, predator/prey, foreign/native, body/soul, - all of these are provoked and prodded in very uncomfortable ways. The end is disturbing and leaves you with a chilling feeling that does not go away. This is truly a film buff's kind of movie. It is art rather than entertainment. Glazer is brilliant and so is this remarkable film I will watch over and over to unpack its meaning.
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