Film Review : Wildling
Do you want to hear a story?
Do you want me to tell you about the Wildling?
“Wildling” is a peculiar film. It’s hard to put a specific label on it. One moment it feels like a teenage movie about a freshly emerging love. On the other hand, you can’t call it a teenage film per se. It’s a kind of coming of age film with an alternative twist. You could also call it a horror film with influences from werewolf films. But a “Wildling” actually belongs to a different kind of family of mythological creatures. And then there’s the moment Anna (Bel Powley) enters our civilization after years of isolation. She suddenly faces our way of behaving and living. Immediately I thought of films such as “Mama” and “Pete’s Dragon” where something similar happened. Add to this the hunting scenes in a wooded area and you can immediately conclude that this film cannot be classified directly under one specific genre. In that respect, it can already be called unique.
Let me enumerate the positive things first.
Let me first praise some elements of this movie. I found the choice of youthful actresses playing Anna amazingly successful. Aviva Winick, Arlo Mertz and Bel Powley each play a different period in Anna’s life. There wasn’t one moment that I thought there was something wrong with the appearance of Anna. They fit perfectly in the timeline. Subsequently, the transformation Anna underwent was well portrayed. Compliments for the make-up department. And finally a pat on the back for Brad Dourif who plays Daddy wonderfully, the person who takes care of and educates Anna in a sealed room. Still, strange I didn’t immediately recognize Brad Dourif. His role as Wormtongue from “The Lord of the Rings” is nevertheless engraved in my memory. How he can display so many emotions in that limited span of time is simply genius. Unfortunately, I found the ultimate role of him in the entire story less convincing.
Some unanswered questions.
But as usual, you’ll find a number of improbabilities in addition to the positive points. Not that “Wildling” drops to a miserably bad level, but it bothered me a little bit. The intro of the film is simply beautiful. Mysterious, intriguing and shocking at the same time. You constantly wonder which direction it wants to go and what’s the ultimate objective. Is Anna a prisoner of a network of morbid perverts? Is the outside world uninhabitable as in so many apocalyptic films? Or is there an element of truth in the story Anna hears for years already about the “Wildling“? And when Daddy starts giving injections, it’s really puzzling. And then there comes that turning point. An event I had questions about. During the film, you’ll see that the person Daddy was an experienced hunter. Well, this is probably the first time that he simply misses his target.
The 30s vibe.
It also seemed unlikely that Anna, after being isolated from the outside world for many years without any interaction with other individuals, adapted so quickly. Wasn’t it better for such a unique person to be protected from the surrounding world? How is it possible Anna could go to a public school without any problem. A hostile environment, full of unknown emotions. I can imagine that this is very confusing for her. Let alone to let her go to a party with deafening booming music and liters of alcohol. She struggles like a fish on dry land. Another laughable moment was when Ellen (Liv Tyler) deposited a pack of sanitary pads in front of Anna. I suppose Anna had no idea what it was and what it was for. By the way, I also had trouble recognizing Liv Tyler immediately (also a “Lord of the Rings” participant). Maybe I miss her fairytale kind of appearance. Or her beauty starts to fade. But that’s a different kind of reverie from me. And finally, I thought Daddy’s final action during the hunt was terribly exaggerated. How he managed that (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it), remains a mystery to me.
“Wildling” is a strange but special flick.
“Wildling” certainly isn’t a bad movie. But in hindsight, it’s all rather blurry and superficial. Not that an extensive and detailed explanation is necessary. But I expected some more background information about the origin of these mythical creatures. Maybe it’s also because the film aims at too many genres. The fairytale mixes with horror elements and then transforms effortlessly into drama. “Wildling” can easily be added to other nature documentaries about animal species threatened with extinction. Never thought of seeing this concept in a soft-horror fantasy story. If there’s one thing this film succeeded in with flying colors, it’s the idiosyncratic use of the well-known werewolf concept. In short, a strange but special film.
My rating 6/10
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Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Richard Lippert, Arianna Ortiz, Joy Jacobson, David Yow
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Asher: Ron Perlman Really Was The Most Suitable Person To Play Asher
I just killed a man in the bathroom, and I’m afraid if we don’t leave right now,
they’re gonna call the cops.
Hmm. So it’s true.
Men will say anything for sex.
A hitman who, by chance, encounters a lovely dance teacher and realizes that it’s time to turn his back on his dangerous profession. And then he comes to the conclusion that it’s not so obvious to do that. Well, doesn’t it sound familiar to you? It’s a bit like “Polar“, the “John Wick” -like action thriller, but with considerably fewer action scenes. The way Asher (Ron Perlman) enjoys a carefully cooked meal and a glass of wine on his rooftop terrace while observing the nocturnal activities in the city, is a snapshot that perfectly reflects how the rest of the film feels. You’ll get that easy-going feeling the entire film. So don’t expect an impressive and magically choreographed action film. The fact that one of the targets who Asher had to liquidate, drops dead because of a heart attack before Asher does anything, is telling. Not that the film is deadly boring. But it’s not energetic either.
Perlman is perfect to play Asher.
In my opinion, Ron Perlman really was the most suitable person to play Asher. This impressive-looking actor with his characteristic facial features exudes a kind of calmness and is at the same time intimidating enough. Ron Perlman, better known as “Hellboy” but also known for his contributions to an infinite number of other films, delivers a suitable interpretation. Maybe his age has something to do with it. As a 70-year-old, he does not have to put a lot of effort into playing an almost retired killer. A grayish, tough guy who suddenly starts to notice that his shape is deteriorating. When the lovely Sophie (Famke Janssen) crosses his path, he suddenly realizes that being lonely at an old age isn’t something he’s looking forward to. In any case, it’s a role that demands more than just brute force. And Perlman, who in my eyes looks very much like Thanos, knows perfectly how to keep the balance between the professional, experienced assassin and the old, somewhat gloomy man who realizes that his career is over and that the younger generation will soon take over.
A timid and stressed young woman.
Famke Janssen, who immigrated from the Netherlands to the US and played in blockbusters such as “Taken” and “X-men“, isn’t playing her most impressive role here but still manages to portray the person Sophie in an excellent way. A timid and stressed young woman with a turbulent past and dealing with her own personal problems. It’s mainly her dementing mother Dora (Jacqueline Bisset) she’s worried about. The old woman no longer recognizes her and sometimes responds in a sharp and angry manner. This ensures emotionally charged scenes. And in one way or another, it’s also the reason for an unconsciously funny moment. For me, the conversation between Asher and Sophie about putting Dora out of her misery was the most moving and at the same time funniest moment of the film. An exchange of ideas on how to accomplish this while Sophie has no idea what Asher is actually doing. Let’s say, a tragicomic moment.
The acting wasn’t bad. On the contrary.
“Asher” is a mediocre crime movie that has difficulties getting off the starting blocks. And even when it gains momentum, the pace still seems to be slow and the film still colors nicely within the lines. This time it’s not about bad acting but rather the actionless content. They focus more on the development of a close relationship between two lonely souls. For me, this was enough to call it an interesting film. Even though the subject itself isn’t groundbreaking and some things are bluntly idiotic. For example, I found the corridor scenes in which Asher stood there with his umbrella while the fire alarm went off, completely ridiculous. I thought it was odd that only the targeted person runs out of his apartment in a panic. So, the movie isn’t a high flyer, but if you come across it somewhere on a VOD service, you might still be able to give it a chance.
My rating /10
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