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Poor Things Movie Review

Poor Things Movie Review

Poor Things Movie Review: Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” isn’t your typical period piece. It’s a darkly comedic and visually stunning exploration of societal norms, female agency, and the unexpected consequences of scientific experimentation. Buckle up for a wild ride through Victorian England with a healthy dose of the absurd.

Poor Things Movie Review

Frankenstein with a Feminist Twist

The film centers around Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman brought back to life by eccentric scientist Dr. Wakenshott (Willem Dafoe). The twist? Bella’s brain belongs to a drowned woman, while her heart – and thus, her desires – are very much her own. Unburdened by societal expectations, Bella embraces her newfound life with uninhibited curiosity and a refreshing lack of shame. This sets the stage for a clash with Victorian sensibilities and the men in her life who try to control her.

Stone Steals the Show

Emma Stone delivers a captivating performance as Bella. She embodies the character’s childlike innocence and unfiltered desires with both humor and vulnerability. Stone’s comedic timing shines as Bella navigates awkward social situations and challenges societal norms with delightful bluntness.

A Feast for the Eyes

Lanthimos, known for his visually striking films, creates a world that’s both opulent and unsettling. The vibrant costumes and production design transport viewers to Victorian England, but with a touch of the surreal. Think fish-eye lens close-ups and dreamlike sequences that blur the lines between reality and fantasy.

Humor with a Bite

The film’s humor is dark and often derived from the absurdity of the situations Bella finds herself in. Her frankness throws off the Victorian gentlemen around her, leading to hilariously awkward encounters. However, beneath the comedic surface lies a biting social commentary. The film critiques the way women were treated as property during the era, and how Bella’s defiance challenges those deeply ingrained power structures.

Not for Everyone

“Poor Things” is not for the faint of heart. The film features moments of violence, sexual content, and a healthy dose of the grotesque. Lanthimos’ signature style might alienate viewers expecting a traditional period drama. However, those who appreciate unconventional storytelling and films that challenge societal norms will find much to appreciate in “Poor Things.”

A Conversation Starter

The film leaves plenty to unpack after the credits roll. What does it mean to be “free” from societal conditioning? How does our past shape our desires? What are the consequences of defying expectations? “Poor Things” is a film that will spark lively discussions and leave a lasting impression.

Final Verdict

“Poor Things” is a darkly comedic and visually stunning film that offers a fresh take on the Frankenstein myth. Emma Stone shines as the unconventional Bella, and Lanthimos’ masterful direction creates a world that’s both beautiful and unsettling. While it might not be for everyone, those seeking a thought-provoking and wildly entertaining film won’t be disappointed.

Digging Deeper into the Absurd: Exploring Themes in “Poor Things”

Beyond the wild ride that is “Poor Things,” there are layers of themes waiting to be explored. Here’s a closer look at some of the film’s thought-provoking ideas:

The Subjugation of Women:

The film is a blatant critique of Victorian society’s treatment of women. Bella’s lack of social conditioning exposes the absurdity of the restrictions placed upon them. Her desires, deemed “unladylike” by the men in her life, challenge the patriarchal norms of the time. The film cleverly uses humor to highlight the ridiculousness of these societal expectations.

The Nature of Identity:

With a transplanted brain, Bella’s very identity becomes a question. Is she the woman whose body she inhabits, or the child whose brain gives her life? The film explores the complex relationship between mind and body, and how social constructs shape our sense of self.

Science and Morality:

Dr. Wakenshott’s experiment raises questions about the ethical implications of scientific advancement. Is it right to bring someone back to life without their consent, especially with an altered mental state like Bella’s? The film explores the potential dangers of scientific progress without proper ethical considerations.

Love and Freedom:

The relationship between Bella and both Byron (Mark Ruffalo) and Godwin (Ramsey Youssef) is complex and unconventional. Bella seeks a love that allows for her freedom and individuality, something neither man is fully prepared to offer. The film explores the challenges of finding love that embraces nonconformity.

The Absurdity of Social Norms:

Lanthimos’ signature use of the absurd shines through in the film. The exaggerated social etiquette, awkward encounters, and unexpected plot twists all contribute to the film’s sense of absurdity. This comedic lens helps to highlight the absurdity of the societal norms Bella challenges.

A Lasting Impact:

“Poor Things” is more than just a dark comedy. It’s a film that stays with you long after the credits roll. It prompts viewers to question societal norms, explore the complexities of identity, and celebrate the power of individuality. With its blend of humor, social commentary, and philosophical questions, “Poor Things” is a film that demands to be seen and discussed.