Housewife (2017)

Director: Can Evrenol
Writer: Can Evrenol, Cem Özüduru
Cast: Clémentine Poidatz, David Sakurai, Alicia Kapudag, Ali Aksöz, Defne Halman
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2018

Holly (Clémentine Poidatz) is married to Tim (Ali Aksöz) and they are thinking about having children. But Holly struggles with her memories of her parents’ death and that does interfere with her own desire to be a mother. Then Holly dreams of her friend Valery (Alicia Kapudag), who has been missing for a while, and the very next day, Valery is back and invites Holly and Tim to the Umbrella of Love and Mind, an organization that may or may not be a cult, led by Bruce (David Sakurai). There, the lines between dream and reality continue to blur.

Housewife, unfortunately, did not manage to convince me. Given that I haven’t liked anything much that Evrenol has done so far, this came as no surprise to me, but that didn’t make the film any more enjoyable to me.

Slight SPOILERS after the jump.

I did find the dream level of the film pretty intriguing, both visually and narratively. But unfortunately, the film takes way too long to really go for it in that regard. By the time it really takes off, I had already left the plane, having lost all interest in taking the trip it offers. If they had given me more of it at the beginning, this may not have happened.

But even if I had stayed interested in what happens longer than I did, I don’t think I would have gotten over the fact that the film ultimately boils down to a mystical pregnancy plot. It’s a trope I really hate and we got it in pretty much its worst iteration here. It’s misogynistic, it’s been done to hell and back and it needs to die.

Almost as irritating as the mystical pregnancy was the fact that the entire film was shot in English. I assume that was a decision by Evrenol to maybe appeal to a broader/more international audience. But given that his entire main cast is quite audibly made up from non-native speakers but it appeared to me that we were to believe that the characters were, it just constantly grated, it felt so forced.

There is really nothing about the film that worked for me without any buts. The dreams had their chance to be that part of the movie that made me give an ever so hesitant thumbs-up, but they blew even that, leaving me thoroughly underwhelmed.

Summarizing: oh well, I’d rather not.

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