Under the Skin (2014)

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When was the last time you touched someone?

This year, I watch Denis Villeneuve gone Lynchian with Enemy,  and now, I watch Jonathan Glazer gone Kubrickian with his elusive extraterrestrial horror, Under the Skin.

Scarlett Johansson is an extraterrestrial being that roams across Scotland to seduce local pedestrians and secretly prey on them. She roves around in a queer white van, and seemingly, a mysterious rider always follow her. This being asks people on the street about the M8, the post office, or else; as she manipulates her sympathy towards them only to lure her victims to her queer den (and prey on them in an unusual way).

What her motif is, how he preys on those poor men, where she comes from, or why she is doing all the things in the film remain questionable and unanswered during the film. What comes next is a revelation of how Scarlett Johansson’s alien confuses us and gets confused herself by the conduct of human being. It seems that this alien finds perplexity in finding what a real human is or what the essence of human being’s life is. Only the bewilderment of surrealistic pictures and harrowing music composition by Mica Levi can explain this extraordinary space odyssey that has gone beyond semiotics or any means of literature.

Cold and mysterious like the street of Scotland, this film it. It has more than just an exposition of what happens to our character; it contains a visceral reflection towards our perception of humanity. Under the Skin is as obscure as it is eerie; although we do not know or do not want to know the message emanates from this film, we can still feel the eerie feeling sneaks behind us as we see our terrestrial being seduces people and devastates them; or when we see what matters most to our existence as human being.

Under the Skin is very original, although it has the shades of Stanley Kubrick’s influence (in my eyes). It has all the quality to confuse you and keep you frustrated—i’m not a savant to understand this film after seeing it once or twice, but the whole film is enchanting and mesmerizing (even if you don’t understand it). In addition, candid cameras in the van always follow Johansson so that we get a crystal clear look of how pedestrians react to Johansson but still recognize no Johansson. It’s a natural approach to get pictures as naturally as possible; glad that no pedestrian is harmed during the filming (by a real extraterrestrial being).

Under The Skin (2014)

Sci-Fi, Thriller Running Time: 108 mins. Directed by: Jonathan Glazer Written by: Jonathan Glazer & Walter Campbell based on the novel by Michel Faber Starred by: Scarlett Johansson

IMDB | Official Site

2 responses

  1. Interesting! I read the book, and I’m looking forward to this coming out on DVD next month. Great review!

    1. I wonder how the book is presented, given the pictures in the film. I really wonder whether it is a direct adaptation or something 😀

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