Under the Skin: *****

under-the-skinRun Time: 108mins         Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: A beautiful mysterious  woman (Johansson) drifts across Scotland, seeking men for dark encounters, before questioning the purpose of her existence.

 

Odd, disturbing, bizarre, captivating, experimental and totally hypnotic. Jonathan Glazer’s long anticipated adaptation of Michael Faber’s novel is a unique piece of filmmaking and is unlike anything that has been seen in the past few years.

 

Johansson is bewitching in the lead role which is completely improvised. Her performance entails wearing a black wig and red lipstick, while driving a van rigged with hidden cameras in which she approaches real members of the public. It has hard to think of an actress of her calibre and appearance that would approach a role and project like this.

 

The narrative focuses only on the point of view from this outsider, which makes the viewer feel like their the alien as we find it hard to understand what compels this creature to do what she does. It is only when she starts to question her existence and her own sense of humanity that we start to understand this complex individual.

 

Glazer appears to be heavily influenced by The Man Who Fell to Earth, not only in imagery but also in the whole composition with high pictured string siren like sounds and pale toned colourisation.

 

Anyone expecting a Hollywood science fiction thriller will be disappointed. The film is an amazing piece of filmmaking that will make the audience think and decipher for a long time to come, which makes this a rewarding unmissable masterpiece.
 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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