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  • Writer's pictureSteve

FOE (2023)

This has all the signs of an inevitability looking for a home. Take the seasoned yet young Ronan and industry darling and recently Oscar nominated Mescal and smoosh them together somehow. Doesn't matter how, just do it.

It would be like nefarious underhanded alchemy on film. Right? How could it be anything but a roaring success.

Well Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris did this already. Did nobody watch Swan Song? So the story was slightly different, but the plot is eerily similar. Swan Song was more complicated and not based in some humid, backwater state, but both address the end of a relationship, though not by choice, and a way to utilise technology to overcome this emotional hurdle.

Set only four decades away from now, there are elements of this that are entirely believable, but others that are most definitely not. Languid and dusty for the most part, I had to stifle the hayfever vibes it was giving off, thankful it was November and not July. And I'm not just referring to the climate that we're living through here, along with the characters.

There isn't much to fault in the acting chops with Mescal doing the majority of the heavy lifting, but the delivery is strong throughout, though it maintains a frustrating and purposeful gap in coherence for the audience. Like walking into a room when everyone stops talking and then turns accusingly to look at you.

An overlong Black Mirror stab with an admittedly predictable M Knight Shyamalan ending which it took its own sweet (and often bewildering) time to get to.


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