This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
malinkymax’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WANT A SPOILER FREE EXPERIENCE. THIS REVIEW HAS A LOT OF ANALYSIS AND LOOKING AT SPECIFIC DETAILS.
As a film, I think it’s fantastic. It was gripping, immersive, disturbing, terrifying, and paced wonderfully. The editing and cinematography were fantastic, Jennifer Lawrence’s and Javier Bardem’s performances were astonishing. The set/production design was truly jaw dropping.
All of that being said, depending on ones reading of the film, I have trouble with the message. In the overall theme that we are not appreciating Mother Earth and killing the gift we have been given, I agree with that. Unfortunately, one of the people I was watching the film with said their theory that it was all a Biblical allegory out loud within the first 15 minutes, and that is all I could see for the rest of the time.
So looking at it as essentially a crash course of the Bible, and then our future, in a matter of two hours, I found it....pessimistic to say the least. To say the most, I found it as a very painful and distorted view of Christianity, and more specifically of God. I myself am a Christian, I am converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church currently, and I feel that the depiction of “God”, or whatever Javier Bardem is (“The Poet”), is an extremely dark and twisted look at God, making Him a narcissistic individual who doesn’t care about the Earth. The argument here would be that it’s told from the Earth’s perspective, but yet I think that goes against, at least, my understanding of God, as Him and His creation would not be against each other.
I think that the allegories and their pacing are incredibly clever when read into (the removal of the rib to make the wife arrive, the sink that wasn’t braced yet being the flood), but again they are an incredibly dark look at the story of man through a Christian understanding. Especially the depiction of communion, that was very upsetting.
And then the end: that God starts over and recreates what He wants in His image, hoping to get it right this time. It’s a horribly depressing look at Creation, and an obsessive understanding of love. A God that makes man to marvel at and wonder at his creative power is not a God worth worshipping, and not the God that I pray to. Perhaps this is a demented, celebritized, corrupted religious critique, about those who make their work/their faith about them, rather than about everyone else? If it is, it’s not clear enough to be impactful in that way.
Though, after all of this I think it’s important to point out that this is just one reading of the film, and I really wish that I had gone through it without someone telling me how to perceive it. I think I lost a lot of the impact that a first viewing of this could have had, had I been able to apply my own thinking to it and bring it in as it came. Maybe I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion at all, who knows
All I know is that the sink wasn’t braced, and those stupid idiots got told a million times, but they just HAD to sit up there.