Men draws on a variety of micro- and macro-aggressions, all of which were depicted during Harper''s holiday in the English countryside, but also on men as an oppressive force against women throughout history. Men also draws on gaslighting, the importance of female friendship, and trauma.
The only issue with Men is that it is evident, although it is unbelievable, but that it undermines its whole point through one deadly miscalculation: it treats its main character as a symbol rather than a person.
Harper Marlowe is a woman recovering from the suicide of her unstable husband James (Paapa Essiedu) who decides to stay in the English countryside for a few weeks. However, on another level, Harper Marlowe is all of womanhood: the forbidden fruit of the garden and the shimmering sheela-na-gig carving reinforce the notion that Harper''s nightmarish journey is a different narrative. However, this is all well and well, but it''s difficult to get an audience emotionally invested in
Garland is unable to conceive from her husband''s suicide with observation and inference. She stands despite her strong head on her shoulders, trusting her own eyes and never falling prey to the men''s fatal gaslighting. She is likely from Ireland, since Buckley uses her natural accent during a video call for work. Although she may afford two weeks in a beautiful country house as well as a flat with a view of the Thames, she also wishes to be a part of it. She also plays
While Garland gives enough information to frustrate the audience with its vagueness, it is essential that she be transparent about something rather than provocative. For instance, when Harper meets James, she says no; later, however, she is shown doing exactly that. Why did she feel the need to be cautious about something too minor, especially when Harper is diagnosed with schizophrenia? If Men knows what Harper''s life was like before James'' death, it doesn''t matter.
It cares about Harper''s screaming side after one of the fights, and that after throwing him out, she saw him fall to his death. It also cares about her being stalked and terrorized by a naked, malevolent nature spirit. It cares about her, in short, it feels about her, and how she is well-being treated in this movie. What do you think of women in this society?
Let''s be clear that this writer has no truck with the idea that artists shouldn''t write about marginalized identities they don''t belong to. That sort of thinking does nothing but discourage empathy and stifle creativity. However, empathy can only go so far, and Men demonstrates the dangers of good intentions. It understands the hardships that come with being a woman, but it does not know why women are so important as the only woman on screen for the most part of the runtime has very little interiority.
A good scene in which she changes: Harper takes a walk in the woods near the country house without hurrying, taking in the beauty of the English countryside. When a storm of thunder signals the rain, she is shedding tears of joy. Buckley plays it beautifully, indicating a sudden, dawning equation that the audience isn''t interested in. It is one of the few moments of joy in a tense, gloomy film, but it is possible that it would if the film
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