Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't ask why. It just felt like the right thing to do., 16 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Morvern Callar [DVD] (DVD)
*Some scene mentioning spoilers within*

Don't ask why. It just felt like the right thing to do, that is part of the brief suicide note that her live in boyfriend has left Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton). It could also serve as a statement by director Lynne Ramsay about her whole film. A complex, intimate and emotionally weird picture that infuriates and astonishes in equal measure. Films like this are beloved by the arthouse set, open to interpretations of meanings, leading to debates and division about art over substance, cranial trickery over straight narratives, it be a place where much is being said without anything actually being said. Little moments are metaphors or symbolic to a character's state of mind, visual flourishes flit in and out of the story, often burning an image into the viewers' subconscious. Music can play a big part, and with Morvern Callar it's one of the most crucial parts of the film, another character in fact.

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Ramsay's adaptation (co-written with Liana Dognini) of Gen X author Alan Warner's novel, begs for your undivided attention. That's no guarantee you will enjoy it, for it's often cold and, on the surface at least, head scratching in its intentions. But you will react to it in one form or another, Ramsay is a talent, and she wants (and gets) a reaction to her film. She's not throwing out any bones, you find the answers, watch it and draw your own conclusions. Morton is brilliant, with only a few actual passages of dialogue in the film, Morton is required to provide more visually and emotionally to make Morvern a watchable force. And she does and she is. Morton is backed up by Kathleen McDermott, an unknown first timer who as Morvern's good time loving best pal, Lanna, brings a humanised realism to this sometimes bleak fairytale.

This is dedicated to the one I love.

With Alwin Kuchler's striking photography putting an almost ethereal sheen on proceedings, Morvern Callar, both the character and the film, feels otherworldly. Many scenes grab you by the throat, like Morvern sitting alone on the floor opening her Xmas presents as the tree lights go blink blinkity blink, her dead boyfriends corpse still laid out on the floor, rotting. A high jinx baking sequence, snatches of insects at work, or a lonely walk in the middle of nowhere, is it poetry or posing? Or neither? Either way, Morvern Callar is a memorable film, a close examination of the human mind at work under emotional duress. Today I rate it an easy 8/10, on another day, when my mood is at a different setting, I could quite easily rate it 3/10. It's an experience is Morvern Callar, and then some.
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3.8 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews)
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