Ritual ★★½

Watched for Gorge || 3/??

At the start of Ritual’s narrative, the female protagonist feels a bit like a “manic pixie dream girl” in relation to the director’s straight man act. He records her cheerful yet morbid routine, and her seemingly quirky daily assertion that tomorrow is her birthday. As time goes on though that surface level reading of the characters and their actions unravels and their once entertaining dynamic (for lack of a better word) gives way to something darker. Something that feels more “real.” The director drops his act and his camera as it’s clear the girl he became fascinated with is spiraling further and further into depression. The pair become codependently attached to each other’s monotonous, repetitive lives, with the girl eventually becoming possessive of the director’s time and company. They find a deep and genuine solace in each other’s presence equally as much as they seem to bring out the worst in each other.

The characters barely know each other for much of the runtime, but they work together nonetheless because of their matched profound loneliness. They’re both just desperate for someone to give them attention and for something to hold onto.

Although there’s nothing particularly impressive about the film’s location, the shot structure makes it feel unique - it’s the pair’s own collection of strange, liminal spaces. 

…I’ll be honest though, with all that said this movie didn’t really do anything for me on an emotional level. It’s weird. I guess I know the emotions I’m supposed to be feeling but I feel way too detached from these people and their world to actually feel anything at all. I don’t really care about either of them, even though the girl does have her moments. 

I don’t know this just sort of ..happened to me. I didn’t dislike it, but I also didn’t gain anything from it. I liked the short animated bits aesthetically I suppose.

Side Note: I get that this is a bit of a weird comment, but Ayako Fujitani in this movie makes a lot of expressions that feel reminiscent of Aubrey Plaza’s vibe. I’m not saying that’s intentional because obviously that’s impossible timing-wise, but does anyone else see this? Is this just me? Let me know if you see this in the comments and don’t forget to hit that like button and subscribe 💯

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