vitor’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's with great sadness that I say that I didn't enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would for the premise.
The film touches on very important themes that are reflections of religious ultraconservatism. Seeing this debate gaining visibility, even if minimal, is always good because of how much it spills over into our society.
Based on a true story, Miriam Toews' book adaptation is a dialogue-focused, low-location film. The fact that the story takes place in 2010 is also a way of talking to the audience about how current this story is, despite looking like a period film.
I thought it was brave of Sarah Polley to focus her critique on patriarchy as a structure rather than the men who were raised under it teachings. The film could easily go with the "us versus them" discourse (which I would find extremely valid), but it takes a position of change and learning, which I also enjoyed.
The choice for a dense color palette is to convey this feeling of sadness, darkness... however it's not inviting at all, and this is an element that makes the film boring to watch, despite the length.
The women debate throughout the film whether they should resort to violence or just run away, and with that there is also a discussion about revenge or survival, which is quite interesting, but the conclusion leaves something to be desired due to the ease of the escape.
The film does not show the face of the aggressors at any time, I believe that intentionally, but that takes away any and all sense of danger that I could have for the characters. I personally had a lot of trouble to connect because of this.
It's a film that needs immersion, and I couldn't have it at any point, despite forcing myself a lot, because it also doesn't make an effort at any point, and ends up wasting a necessary subject in an uninteresting work.
Women Talking has a lot to say, but it communicates sleepily.