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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Men (2022)

This was always going to be divisive, don't you think? If you could find Alex Garland's tinder profile, there will be a link to this in it. Flag-waving for the manufactured 'enemy', proudly woke and trying establish a group hand-clapping orgies with other like-minded lesbians.

Okay, so men are animals, but so are women. Really, you need to get over it. Biology and the limitations of evolution are the real culprits. Who would a woman thank for the invention of contraception, something that gives them the freedom they could only ever have dreamed about for generations? Would that man's contribution to the advancement of women mean nothing if he stared at your legs for a second longer than acceptable, whilst waiting for the bus? Some stuff is simply hard-wired.

It's all bollocks though. I mean really. Stop and use your brain, just for a minute. This isn't even about the weaknesses and tyranny of evil men. This is the story of how this woman reacts to the shortcoming of certain individuals she runs into whilst escaping a reality she would really rather not deal with right now. Yes, a tiny percentage of men do odd, some times offensive things to women that they may or may not know. Some may not even realise they are doing it. It is for the woman to decide if they are offended or not, and that usually depends on the man doing the alleged offending. But so do women to men. Trust me, I know.

If I can finish the sentences in a script having neither seen the film nor read a draft, I am left wondering if that is a negative about the film, not being as original and inventive as it might be, or whether my narcissism is in full tilt and that I could write one at least as good. If I can do that, then my impression of the words diminishes immediately.

More often than not, I love an Alex Garland project more than most, but even I have trouble with this fruitless (apart from the apple, not sure if he is using this as a poke at female seduction there) stab at providing reliable opinion on a subject he is no more an authority on than I am able to fashion a jaunty hat. I hate using the word inciteful, but I have been forced to twice this week. Garland does nothing more here than ruffle the feathers of his victims/viewers that are already too fragile to toy with. Don't feed the animals. If you do they're likely to throw their shit at you.

Rory Kinnear's performances here are wondrous and riveting, making Jessie Buckley look like an also-ran in her own leading role. The story and its origin is ridiculous and warrants every bit of derision it receives. Nevertheless, you can't really deny its moment for all of the ignominy it deserves. He shoots, he misses. An everyman we are not and only the most deluded, estrogen filled individual would imagine we were. He doesn't do it often, but this is a grasp too far for Garland. I hope it doesn't come back and 'haunt' him.


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