Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you think I’m pretty?

Under The Skin - 3.5/5
The closest I can get to understanding: it’s the power and burden of pretty people. Scarlett Johannson drives around Scotland in a white van, picking up real people who didn’t know they were being filmed (GREAT), who jump at the prospect of a PYT giving them a ride (GREAT). Of course – had that been a 40-year old man picking up young women, it would have been creepy. And she is creepy; but she’s beautiful. That is her power: she can get away with it. And then, as the movie progresses, she wants more than to Be Seen, she wants to know herself and to perhaps Be Known, and she gets trouble for it. When she controls the object (her cooter), she has power. When she is objectified, she is helpless. She can get away with a lot, but she’s not seen for much. That theme runs through the outer edges of the movie, even. The lower classes (and me!) are enticed by the notion of seeing Scarlett's boobs, and then they see more boners-per-minute than most movies you can find in a mainstream movie theater. They expected skin, they got UNDER IT, GUYS. THEY GOT UNDER THE SKIN. I enjoy the idea of that and I enjoy what I see as the themes of this movie. But also, bros? This movie can be boring as shit. It’s repetitive, it’s long, and it’s intentionally obtuse. What it had to say – which I believe to be worthwhile – would have been worth more to more people had it just, you know, had someone slap it in the face and say ‘stop wasting my time.’ It’s a beautifully-made story, not a beautifully-told one. 

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