The Other Side of the Underneath

The Other Side of the Underneath ★★★★½

The Other Side of the Underneath doesn't deliver a gut punch. It's like getting hit by a sledgehammer after you got run over by a car.

This is such a depressing movie. The way Jane Arden shows the mental state of a few young women who are tormented by things that were done to them in the past, is like a punch in the face. There is not a real story line in this. There are some situations set up and from there on we get a view inside the heads of a number of women. We see how they show themselves at their most fragile towards each other and their therapist. Oppression, abuse, violence, self destruction, suicide, humiliation. All those things, and more, are passing by in 2 destructive hours. It's not a movie that will make you feel happy. Worst of all is that they what's going on with them and want to get better, but can't cope with the stuff what's done to them. That makes the movie more powerful than it already is. Arden, just like in Separation, puts a lot of herself in this movie.

The acting comes across very realistic. It's just scary how realistic it is. You really believe it. The looks they give, the tears they let flow, the emotions, the fear, the uncertainty. It's a little bit amateuristic at times, but that's for the good of the movie and the performances. Like I said. It's frightening to see how everyone invests a lot in their roles.

The visuals fit perfectly with the feeling the movie wants to evoke. There are some weird shots passing by which, besides the story, situations and acting, give you a real sense of discomfort. The photography is amazing. The movie looks great. The scene where a movie is projected on the face of one of the girls is gorgeous. Just like in Separation, sound plays an important role here. Great how Arden embraces the technical aspect as much as the story and acting.

The Other Side of the Underneath is not a movie you want to watch again anytime soon. It really is that emotionally draining and really destroys you. The impression this leaves, is one for years.

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