While trying to describe Denis Villenueve's Maelstrom the only thing that kept coming to mind is a dark fairytale. The film revolves around a a young upper-class woman whose life is in a downward spiral. For starters she is dealing with the guilt of having an
abortion, her brother is cutting her out of the family business and one night
she leaves a party and hits an old man with her car. The film's structure is unconventional, in that the film kinda jumps around juxtaposing different scenes with one and other and oh, did I mention it's a love story? For the most part Maelstrom does work quite well, with an odd tone that somehow manages to make this material come alive from both an emotional and visceral perspective. Given all that happens to the lead protagonist one could wonder if the film feels overstuffed or just plan too dark but that is simply not the case at all, with Villenueve creating a striking portrait of a suffering woman that is ultra convincing thanks to a great lead performance. The visual design of this film is really stunning, with impressionistic lighting that perfectly gives the viewer a window into this woman's aching sole. Make no mistake, Maelstrom is not an easy viewing experience. It's strange, unconventional and challenging but if in the end I found myself incredibly touched by the evolving relationship between the woman and man she meets. This is certainly not a fan for anyone and it is quite challenging early on in its running time, but if you stick with it, by the end the film will have you convinced.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.