This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Eleanore’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Hoo boy, this was the one that really knocked me out this year. (Yeah, I know, I haven't watched much new stuff this year. But I don't think my opinion would've changed much even if I had, because I'm quite confident nothing else like this came out this year.
Very glad they screened the uncut/full cut at the drive-in (the recorded intro from Brandon Cronenberg at the beginning was a treat, too), though anyone going in should definitely be prepared for what that means in terms of the intensity of the violence and the sex, though I certainly had no problem with either. The whole experience is rightfully visceral, and deeply absorbing. I love that this both borrows heavily from the themes among his father's work, while also expanding on it in its own ways. While David's focus has so often been on the horror of remolding or perverting the physical body, Brandon's main concern here is with the horror of the separation from it, and the perversion of the mind.
This thing has so much on its mind and stayed in mine for days after I saw it: dissociation, dysmorphia, the shell of the body, the concept of whether there can ever be one true identity — the routine and performance OF identity, what is the self?, female rage (most notably see: Tasya's constant preference to stab rather than merely fire a gun), the true physical effort and the impressive, gory mess of the culmination of all that rage in murder.
I need to rewatch soon and see how much more of it I absorb and what else it plants in my mind, and I can't wait. MANDY made me mad as hell with how badly it squandered its meaningless visuals, but that's not the case with the hallucinogenic sequences here as Tasya's consciousness begins to unravel and remold, and my GOD, what a satisfyingly superior use of the fantastic Andrea Riseborough. Tremendous practical effects that I'm still puzzling over the method of their creation, months later. Deeply ambitious. More of all of this, please.
Poor Michael. I loved him, too. But I'm not sure it was really me.