The Beguiled (2017)

The year is 1864, and it is during the American Civil War. Not far from the ongoing war, we have a mansion of young ladies schooled by their teacher, Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman). Among the cast, we also have Elle Fanning as a student and Kirsten Dunst as a teacher.

One day, one of the students is out picking mushrooms and comes across wounded Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell). The corporal is weak and desperate for help. The young girl agrees to take him back to the school so he can heal and recover. As the corporal recovers and begins to know the girls better, sexual tension, jealousy and betrayal begins to grow within the school. Is the corporal an enemy? A manipulator? Or just a handsome, respectful charmer?

As I began to watch this film, I noticed the film’s aspect ratio felt incorrect. It made me curious and worried about my TV! After the movie ended I discovered that director Sofia Coppola chose the 1.66:1 aspect ratio because she wanted to make the film feel claustrophobic. The different aspect is creative, but it personally didn’t make me feel claustrophobic or notably different for that matter.

I enjoyed the film’s story and the mystery behind our leading man. The film managed to create many questions from the get-go that can only be explained as the film goes on. The film’s audio track (along with the Aspect ratio) packs plenty of detail. Even within the opening scene where a young girl is collecting mushroom, you can hear explosions and gunshots from the far distance, the crunching of the sticks under her feet and the crickets in the air. The detail throughout the entire film was a pleasure to hear. From a visual point of view, the film is pretty dull. Some of the primary colours heavily used include dark grey and dark army green.

While the film is entertaining, the way it’s told often jumps from scene to scene far too quickly. For example, our teacher calls the girls to eat dinner and just as they begin to eat, the teacher will then say ‘it’s time to go to another room to sing and pray’. The film never seems to stay put for any stable duration.

Another odd part of the story is the overall lack of security and protection for our leading girls. Even as viewers, we know the man is a potential risk and could be dangerous. The teacher also warns the girls to lock the door and stay away. But for some reason the girls ignore, or worse, use the key that has been left in the door, letting anyone enter the room and have conversations with the Mystery Corporal. Why didn’t the teacher just put the key around her neck or hide it? As for other funny, odd moments, the list goes on.

I did enjoy how the film felt like two films in one. The 1st half was full of mystery, and the 2nd half had the reveals and outcomes. The film, however, is incredibly predictable long before the film’s finale.

Overall, Beguiled tries to bring a suspenseful film filled with mysteries and curiosity. The film’s pace seemed to jump quicker than a frog in a pond. Many times I found some of the character’s actions slightly unacceptable and silly. The film’s aspect is creative, but again not knowing in advance made me think something was wrong, and it felt distracting instead. As a film, it’s not awful, and it’s not great, it’s just not one for me.

4.9/10

The-Beguiled-Poster

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Set in the near future, several people, including Paul (Steve Railsback) and Chris (Olivia Hussey), refuse to submit and conform to the New World Order.  Captured, they are taken to a correction camp and labelled as deviants.  This small group of people are...

Patrick (1978)

Kathy (Susan Penhaligon) moves into a new home while going through a trial separation from her husband. She goes for a job interview at a nearby medical facility, and while her experience with patients is nothing recent, she still gets the job and begins work on the...

The Children in the Pictures (2021)

In this documentary focusing on online child sexual exploitation, we learn early on that online child sexual exploitation is the world’s fastest-growing major crime.  Yet, in the present day, less than a thousand police worldwide are dedicated to preventing...

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021)

Continuing from Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, the film begins with Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, under the complete control of Poison Ivy.  Under Poison Ivy’s seductive control spell, Bruce makes large financial contributions. While months pass, Bruce lives...

Paprika (2006)

Get ready to enter a world unlike anything you’ve seen in cinema before.  A small team of therapists have successfully created a machine that allows them to enter their patients’ minds while sleeping and enter their dreams. The new invention which will change the...

Ainbo: Amazon Princess (2021)

Ainbo is a young woman who lives in the Amazon Rainforest. While life around her seems simple and pretty, a horrible curse has plagued the people and the land of the Amazon for many years. The cause of the curse is unknown, but many people within the village hope it...

Ride the Eagle (2021)

Leif (Jake Johnson) lives in a small cabin in one of his friend’s backyards.  On a day-to-day basis, Leif enjoys doing very little other than smoking drugs, hanging out with his dog, and taking pride in the fact that he plays the bongos in a band that he hopes...

Martyrs Lane (2021)

Leah (Kiera Thompson) is a ten-year-old girl who lives in a vicarage with her older sister, mother and father. Her family is highly religious, and they find themselves always helping others in need, and people within the community will request a blessing or even...

The Suicide Squad (2021)

After a secret specimen in a lab threatens the world, it’s up a whole new Suicide Squad from Belle Reve to save the day. Bloodsport (Idris Elba) has been invited to lead the new team but refuses. He naturally has a change of heart when he speaks to his daughter and...

Pig (2021)

Rob (Nicolas Cage) is an experienced truffle hunter who hunts by himself in the Oregonian wilderness. Helping him with his hunts is his long term companion- a large female Pig. Life for Rob is generally quiet, and he keeps to himself, even keeping to minimal small...

Initiation (2020)

In this movie, one of the biggest highlights in America is happening right now at a university campus- pledge week!  During this week, young people attending university accept challenges to prove their worth, drink heavily and party. It's evident that social...

Relic (2020)

When a grandmother named Edna (Robyn Nevin) appears to have gone missing, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer), and her granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote), decides to check on her. As Kay and Sam arrive at Edna's home, they confirm she is missing. A police report is...

Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

A family of four are on a road trip. The father, Alan (Erik Thomson), the mother, Jill (Miriama McDowell) and their two teenage sons Jorden (Frankie Paratene) and Maika (Billy Paratene), are travelling through New Zealand. We witness the general interactions of this...

Forever First Love (2020)

Paul (Steven Rooke) is a highly-skilled photographer working for a magazine company.  By pure luck, while visiting the Philippines for work and taking some photos in the local markets, he sees Anna, his first love (Carlotta Morelli). After seeing her from afar,...

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

The film begins with a narration explaining the Legend of the Ten Rings and its origins. We also learn about the man who discovered the powerful rings and used them consistently until something significant happened in his life.  The film fast forwards to the...

Die in a Gunfight (2021)

Set in New York City, Die in a Gunfight is a modern tale of Romeo + Juliet. The story is narrated by actor Billy Crudup, who first introduces the audience to Ben Gibbon (Diego Boneta).   Ben is well known for taking a beating and never seems to give up a...

Superhost (2021)

Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sarah Canning) are a young couple who are also full-time vloggers with their very own channel, Superhost. Together they have built a reputation and large following by visiting various hotels and holiday spots and reviewing them with...

Candyman (2021)

Continuing from the first film, which featured in 1992, Candyman (2021) is set in 2019.  It’s been an entire decade since Cabrini towers were completely torn down.  This new instalment follows Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who lives with his girlfriend,...

Hammer (2019)

The film begins with a young man, Chris (Mark O’Brien), entering the woods to conduct a secret drug and cash deal with another man. But during the exchange, something occurs that puts Chris on the run. While successfully getting away on a motorbike, he bumps into...