Prevenge (2016)

Director: Alice Lowe
Writer: Alice Lowe
Cast: Alice Lowe, Gemma WhelanKate DickieTom DavisJo HartleyKayvan NovakMike WozniakTom Meeten
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

Ruth (Alice Lowe) is seven months pregnant and rather lonely. Also, of course, nervous. When the midwife (Jo Hartley) tells her that there’s no need to be nervous, the baby will let her know what she has to do, Ruth listens. And her baby does speak to her, telling her to kill. And Ruth listens to that as well, going on a rampage that should get finished before her baby is actually born.

I really loved Prevenge. It’s funny, cleverly and surprisingly understated, has a great concept and an excellent performance by Lowe in all the many jobs she did for the film.

My biggest issue with the film – and really, it’s a minor issue – was the voice the baby spoke with (credited as Della Moon Synnott, Lowe’s actual baby she was 8 months pregnant with when she shot the film, but actually done by Lowe herself apparently) which I found a little annoying.

But other than that, I really have no complaints. The film tackles pregnancy and motherhood, but in a way that isn’t really shown usually in films, kneecapping a couple of taboos and regular tropes in the process like I haven’t seen since We Need to Talk about Kevin (both book and movie). Ruth is trying her best with the baby, and women are supposed to give everything for their children. So what if that’s murder?

With that framing the film calls not only that rhetoric into question (plus a couple of other pastel colored atrocities surrounding “baby culture”), but shows how much we as a society lose sight of the women carrying those babies, including their own needs and wishes. Too often, both in life and art, women cease to be women, to be people, with motherhood and they become nothing but mothers instead. And Prevenge really doesn’t let that stand.

But it’s not content with just dismantling societal conceptions of motherhood, it also wants to make us laugh in the process. And it does, making the entire film even more wonderful. It was simply great.

Summarizing: See it, even if gorey isn’t usually your thing (it isn’t all that gorey. And it’s definitely worth it).

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