Swallow ★★½

i really, really wanted to love this. the concept was brand new and intriguing, and the production looked promising as well. the longer it played, the larger the pit in my stomach grew — this is beginning to be disappointing. 

i think it’s less of an issue with the actual film than it is an issue of a misleading trailer. it was advertised to be a thrilling picture about a woman with pica and perhaps her spiral down to drastic events, and while the actual film does show that, it comprises such a small percentage of the screen time that i was left wondering if i had put the right movie on. 

i feel like the crew did put a lot of thought into the cinematography (stunning color palettes, by the way) and other visual elements, but the plot and the characters felt thin despite being supposedly character-driven. the plot device they used (the rape arc) came out of nowhere and wasn’t given a strong emotional connection with the protagonist, so instead of feeling like a dramatic and intimate journey of self-growth, it just felt forced and was a constant state of, “wait she’s doing all this because of... that? huh.”

not a bad film though. it truly had potential and i appreciate the attention to detail with the visual aspects. the scenes of her ‘swallowing’ were also beautifully shot (my favorite is when they switched from a steady to a handheld shot as a euphemism for her struggle with power and control). maybe if they remade this or followed with a sequel then it’d have a stronger emotional foundation, but for now, i can’t say i’ll remember it as a film worth watching.

ramon liked this review