Monday, October 22, 2012

The Girl

Sometimes is safer to admire the oeuvre of a master filmmaker than learning about the person behind the movie, the personal life of much admired directors. I am completely torn with this movie, wishing that I never saw it and at the same time somehow glad that I did not skip it. But whatever I resolve later, I sincerely hope that what I saw in this film and what I been reading will not spoil Hitchcock for me. Then truth is that I have seen almost all his films and even if for a moment I thought about seeing again one of his great masterpieces, Marnie, definitively will not now that have this story too fresh in my mind.

Film is not the story of the filming of The Birds as I suspected thanks to trailers and headlines. This is the story of Tippi Hedren and how in the hands of Hitchcock she learned to act, she became a movie star thanks to the two movies she did with Hitchcock and the probable reason why, after getting out of her contract, she never was able to work in big productions again.

My spontaneous reaction was to try to find what was true and what was not; unfortunately seems that what we see here is mostly true. Still is a good dramatization of truth that know will highly impact you if you admire Hitchcock and especially if you're a woman. If you are not familiar with Hitchcock then probably story will bore you before reaches the key turning point and will be glad that is a made for TV movie as you can stop watching just by changing the channel.

Film is shockingly disturbing. Shocking because tells a side of Alfred Hitchcock that I never imagined, a side that could easily come from many of the stories told in his movies, a side that seems fiction more than truth. But as far as I was able or willing to see and read, seems that is not much fiction.

Disturbing because I find film very well built; starts fine, evolves fine and after a key scene in a car while filming The Birds story turns dark and Toby Jones' Hitchcock characterization starts to produce in front of you layers of unthinkable cruelty and mental abuse like not often you are able to see in the screen, big or small. From that key moment film takes a very disturbing downturn that does not stop until Hitchcock explicitly request sexual services from Hedren, a scene that I will have edited out as in my opinion deludes the highly disturbing element to make film pedestrian for the last few minutes before the end. There was no need to be explicit, we already knew it, there was no need to be spelled out for us. See what bothered me less in this film was everything about his sexual overtures, what is really disturbing is the manipulation, the use of power, the mental abuse.

But have to admit that is a good movie that will make you feel lots of emotions, most of the non-positive kind. To be honest there were a few moments that I forgot I was watching a movie about Hitchcock and started to feel like I was watching a movie directed by Hitchcock, that's how good this movie can be at times. Performances are good with Tobey Jones slowly transforming in front of you and probably is the best of Sienna Miller I have seen; great as always in smaller roles Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilson.

A film that I suggest women should decide before watching IF they are willing to see a disturbing movie about how a man destroys a woman and to those Hitchcock hard fans I strongly suggest you skip film, even if you already know about the director darker side.

Not a film to enjoy but to keep the rating system here goes the closing line.


Watch trailer @MOC

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