Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Sleeping Beauty

Starring: Emily Browning, Rachael Black, Ewen Leslie
Directed by: Julia Leigh
Language: English
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 101 minutes

I was shown the trailer to this movie by a friend last year and I've put off watching it since November. Being a terrible person when it comes to remembering actors' names, at the time, I liked Emily Browning so far from seeing her in Sucker Punch and I was curious how she would handle this role.

Lucy is a university student who juggles multiple jobs. She volunteers herself for medical laboratory research, assists as a photocopy clerk, and works at a coffee shop. Outside of work, she has a broken relationship with her mother that she mentions is an alcoholic, a landlord that obviously dislikes her, and a lonely man that likes her by the name of Birdmann that she spends her free time with. When she's not tied with her various jobs and dealing with the usual people in her personal life, she goes out to high class bars, indulges in drugs, and has sex with businessmen that attend there. It is unclear whether she is paid or not for these sexual favors. Lucy later comes across an ad in the newspaper and makes a phone call inquiring on the details. She meets with Clara, the head of the new position Lucy is interested in, and Clara closely examines her as well as ask her various questions about her body and habits. One evening, she begins her new job as a lingerie wearing silver service waitress, providing alcohol for wealthy old men. After doing this for quite some time, she is requested to try a new position involving her being put to sleep while wealthy old men spend time with her. The only rule is that there is no penetration allowed.

While viewing the trailer, the storyline to this movie seemed unclear, but intriguing at the same time. I read the summary before jumping into it and it was still vague yet intriguing. When I was watching the movie, it was a little vague, but...intriguing. The story isn't very in your face and you really have to listen for everything to get it, then you have to sit there for ten minutes to think about, sleep on it, and wake up to think about it for another ten minutes to wrap your head around the whole situation. There's a lot going on in this movie even though everything seems so minimal and casual. There's so much wrong in Lucy's life and she seems obviously to it, like every choice she makes means nothing. If that's how the character is suppose to be portrayed, then Emily Browning did a great job with it. I was pleased that there was something human about the other girls who were silver service workers and Clara. Even though it's not emphasized, it makes you appreciate them a little for having some sort of concern or conscience toward Lucy. The old men demand the most feelings from the audience to whether you'll sympathize with them or completely dislike them.

I didn't have any problems with the settings or transitions of this movie, but, as I said before, it took me a while to digest everything and understand it. It's easy on the eyes, but I'm not sure if the audio levels were really that unbalanced with the dialogue. That gave me a hard time from fully engrossing myself into the story. I'm still a bit puzzled on what's missing from the movie to make it pop out more. Perhaps someone else who has seen it or is planning on watching it can point me in the right direction.

Nonetheless, the movie wasn't that bad. It's definitely artistic and forces you to think to understand what's going with the story as well as how Lucy functions through each scenario. There's not a lot of moments of emotional attachment with the characters, but you'll find yourself sympathizing with them in that moment. Since I didn't feel like this was a waste of time and it made me think, I'll advise you to have an open mind and let things settle when the movie's over.

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

pescatore_pancreas said...

Ah, good to know. I started watching this on Netflix a while back and forgot about it...guess I'll have to finish it