Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Well. Wasn't THAT Creepy!
Yesterday evening I set about my usual routine of working out on the elliptical trainer, which always entails taking remote control in hand and surfing channels until I find something mildly interesting (or even remotely distracting) to watch for the next 50 minutes. I had missed the first ten minutes or so, but soon became engrossed in "Felicia's Journey", a film that I initially thought was going to be upbeat and heartwarming. The story begins with the introduction of the primary characters -- a young, Irish girl (innocent, save for the fact that she is newly and unexpectedly pregnant) and a middle-aged man who appears to be obsessed with gourmet cooking, music, and antiques. The verdant imagery of the Irish and English countrysides, meshed with lovely, vintage cottage interiors, drew me right in. And of course, by the time I was too hooked to look away, the story got weird. Really weird.
From an online review:
Felicia's Journey, based on William Trevor's psychologically shivery novel of the same name, pokes into the auteur's favorite pits of sexual darkness, spiritual hunger, and human disconnectedness in the story of an exceptionally naive Irish girl (Elaine Cassidy) who leaves her insular home and makes her way to the English Midlands to search for the man she thinks she loves.
Clueless on the grimy streets and, it turns out, pregnant, she crosses fatefully into the insular world of Mr. Hilditch (Bob Hoskins, channeling something of the sheet music salesman he so famously played two decades ago in TV's "Pennies From Heaven"), a tidy catering manager with an insidiously warped interest in "rescuing" the young woman.
I was no longer mesmerized by the pretty scenes, but now riveted by the bizarre story (featuring grainy, flashback film footage of murdered prostitutes), and I could not tear myself away from the screen. The film wasn't at all gory or sensationalized (there was actually no onscreen violence at all), but psychologically thrilling, which is always more unsettling than the all-too-easy depiction of blood and guts. Well, to tell the truth, I don't do gore very well either, but mentally and emotionally disturbing stories almost always prove to be a mistake for me. Especially right before bedtime. I guess it goes without saying that I'm exhausted today, thanks to the nightmares that haunted my sleep.
The film carried its viewer from sweet scenery much like this:
Don't be fooled by the cocoa and cookies! He's coming to KILL you ...
Will you escape???
(I wanted to reach through the screen and somehow drag that hapless girl to safety, before it was too late!)
I guess you'll just have to see it for yourself. And remind me to stick to comedies ... especially after dark!