Directed by Mimi Cave
Stars: Sebastian Stan & Daisy Edgar-Jones
This might go down as one of the more unique films of the year. The hilarious fact that the Disney+ streaming service becomes the home to a story about taking woman and selling their body part solidified that this film was gonna be something memorable. Once we’re into the film it’s a deep dive into the utter insanity of a dark world where the saying ”woman are seen as meat” becomes far more literal. Those with queasy stomachs might be timid to watch this one, but have no fear. Beyond a few notably gruesome scenes, the story never relies on the
grossness to push itself forward- rather the story and the characters themselves become the line that hooks the viewer in.
The horrors of modern dating are seen through the eyes of a young woman who is battling to survive her new boyfriend‘s unusual appetites.
The story itself is relatively strong, it takes the metaphor of woman being seen as objects of desire as if they were purely just meat, and puts it in the most literal concept possible. It’s well done and terrifying as we see our lead Noa, a quiet and reserved women thrown into the darkest depths for her own survival. While the film shows Stan’s character as this charming man who has almost a justification for the atrocities he commits, he expects the women around him to forgiven him for the situation that he has led them too. Its a very clear image at the way men treat women in society to day, just dialed up by 1000. The film had the possibility for a cool side story to go deeper into the darkness of the business Stan is involved in, but unfortunately the decision was made to go a different route with Jonica T. Gibb’s character Mollie. That decision and direction unfortunately left the middle part of the film feeling stagnant, and relying on some repetition between Edgar-Jones and Stan to get out of the rut.
On a technical level there’s not much to point out, although I did love the soundtrack they used for scenes of Stan by himself as he walked and boogied around his home. A couple really cool visual moments, namely the scene where Noa and her captor share a dance.
The acting between our leads is the films strongest part, and it’s what really carries the weight of the story through even the toughest spots. Edgar-Jones as a relative newcomer showed that she is no slouch, and held her own alongside a fairly established actor in Stan. Quite a few moments even I fell for the guise that she was succumbing to the Stockholm syndrome of her situation. While Stan is terrific, his character is terrifyingly mad- and yet never fails to lay on the charm thick. His character has an emotional connection to Noa, and therefore for the first time that we know of he is conflicted upon his work- something that both actors play into so well.
Fresh might be the wildest thing some people watch this year- and for that reason alone, I do think it’s worth adding to ones watchlist.